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An Historical Story of the State's Marvelous Growth from its 
Earliest Settlement to the Present Time 


PROF. J. M. GUINN, A. M., 

Author of A History of Los Angeles and Vicinity, History of Southern California, Secretary and 
Curator of the Historical Society of Southern California, Member of the Amer- 
ican Historical Association, Washington, D. C. 

Containing; Biographies of Well-known Citizens of 
the Past and Present 



Copyright, 1902, 





THERE are very few states in the Union that have a more varied and a more interesting his- 
tory than California ; and there are few if any whose history is so vaguely and so indefinitely 
known. This is largely due to the fact that its colonization was effected by one race and its 
evolution as a state by another. 

In the rapid development of the state by the conquering race, the trials and struggles of the first 
colonists have been forgotten. No forefathers' day keeps their memory green, and no observance 
celebrates the anniversary of their landing. To many of its people, the history of California begins 
with the discovery of gold, and all behind that is regarded of little importance. The race character- 
istics of the two peoples who have dominated California differ widely ; and from this divergence 
arises the lack of sympathetic unison. Perhaps no better expression for this difference can be given 
than is found in popular bywords of each. The 'Toco tiempo" (by and by) of the Spaniard is sig- 
nificant of a people who are willing to wait-who would rather defer till man a n*-tomorrow- 
than hurry to-day. The "go ahead" of the American is indicative of haste, of rush, of a strenuous 
struggle to overcome obstacles, whatever they may be, in the present. 

In narrating the story of California, I have endeavored to deal justly with the different eras and 
episodes of its history; to state facts ; to tell the truth without favoritism or prejudice; to 
credit where credit is due and blame where it is deserved. In the preparation of this history I have 
tried to make it readable. I have avoided dull details and have omitted cumbrous statistics. 

The subject has been presented by topic, observing so far as possible the chronological order of 
the events In collecting material for this work, I have visited all the large libraries of the state, have 
consulted state and county archives, and have scanned thousands of pages of newspapers and maga- 
zines Where extracts have been made, due credit has been given in the body of the work. I have 
received valuable assistance from librarians, from pioneers of the state, from editors, and others. To 
all who have assisted me, I return my sincere thanks. J- ■ 

Los Angeles, January i, 1903. 




THE high standing of these counties is due not alone to ideal climate and rare beauty of 
scenery. Other regions boasting an environment as attractive, have nevertheless re- 
mained unknown to the great world of commerce and of thought. When we study the 
progress made in this section of our country, especially during the past two decades of the nine- 
teenth century and the opening years of the twentieth century, we are led to the conclusion that 
the present gratifying condition is due to the enterprise of public-spirited citizens. They have 
not only developed commercial possibilities and horticultural resources, but they have also main- 
tained a commendable interest in public affairs, and have given to their commonwealth some of 
its ablest statesmen. The prosperity of the past has been gratifying; and, with the building of 
the canal to connect the Atlantic and the Pacific, with the increasing of railroad facilities, with the 
further development of local resources, there is every reason to believe that the twentieth century 
will witness the most marvelous growth this region has ever made. 

In the compilation of this work and the securing of necessary data, a number of writers have 
been engaged for months. They have visited leading citizens and used every endeavor to produce 
a work accurate and trustworthy in every detail. ( hving to the great care exercised, and to the 
fact that every opportunity was given to those represented to secure accuracy in their biographies, 
the publishers believe they are giving to their readers a volume containing few errors of conse- 
quence. The biographies of a number of representative citizens will be missed from the work. 
In some instances this was caused by their absence from home when our writers called, and in 
some instances was caused by a failure on the part of the men themselves to understand the 
scope of the work. The publishers, however, have done all within their power to make this 
work a representative one. 

The value of the data herein presented will grow with the passing years. Posterity will pre- 
serve the volume with care, from the fact that it perpetuates biographical history that otherwise 
would be wholly lost. In those now far-distant days will be realized, to a greater extent than at 
the present time, the truth of Macaulay's statement. "The history oi a country is best told in the 
lives of its people." CHAPMAN PUBLISHING COMPANY. 





Spanish Explorations and Discoveries 33 

Romance and Reality — The Seven Cities of Cibola — The Myth of Quivera — El Dorado — 
Sandoval's Isle of the Amazons — Mutineers Discover the Peninsula of Lower California 
— Origin of the Name California — Cortes's Attempts at Colonization — Discovery of the 
Rio Colorado — Coronado's Explorations — Ulloa's Voyage. 

,-t Jt ,* 

Alta or Nueva California 37 

Voyage of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo — Enters the Bay of San Diego in Alta California- 
Discovers the Islands of San Salvador and Vitoria — The Bay of Smokes and Fires — The 
Santa Barbara Islands — Reaches Cape Mendocino — His Death and Burial on the Island of 
San Miguel — Ferrolo Continues the Voyage — Drake, the Sea King of Devon — His Hatred 
of the Spaniard — Sails into the South Sea — Plunders the Spanish Settlements of the South 
Pacific — Vain Search for the Straits of Anian — Refits His Ships in a California Harbor — 
Takes Possession of the Country for the English Queen — Sails Across the Pacific Ocean 
to Escape the Vengeance of the Spaniards — Sebastian Rodriguez Cermeni i Attempts a 
Survey of the California Coast — Loss of the San Agustin — Sufferings of the Shipwrecked 
Mariners — Sebastian Viscaino's Explorations — Makes No New Discoveries — Changes the 
Names Given by Cabrillo to the Bays and Islands — Some Boom Literature — Failure of 
His Colonization Scheme — His Death. 

Jt .Jt ,* 

Colonization of Alta California 43 

Jesuit Missions of Lower California — Father Kino or Kuhn's Explorations — Expulsion of 
the Jesuits — Spain's Decadence — Her Northwestern Possessions Threatened by the Rus- 
sians and English — The Franciscans to Christianize and Colonize Alta California — Galvez 
Fits Out Two Expeditions— Their Safe Arrival at San Diego— First Mission Founded— 
Portola's Explorations— Fails to Find Monterey Bay— Discovers the Bay of San Fran- 
cisco — Return of the Explorers — Portola's Second Expedition — Founding of San Carlos 
Mission and the Presidio of Monterey. 

•J* £ Jt 


Aborigines of California. 

Inferiority of the California Indian— No Great Tribes— Indians of the San Gabriel Valley- 
Hugo Reid's Description of Their Government— Religion and Customs— Indians of the 
Santa Barbara Channel— Their God Chupu— Northern Indians— Indian Myths and Tra- 




Franciscan Missions of Alta California 56 

Founding of San Diego de Alcala — San Carlos Barromeo — San Antonio de Padua — San 
Gabriel Arcangel — San Luis Obispo — San Francisco de Asis — San Juan Capistrano — Santa 
Clara — San Buenaventura — Santa Barbara — La Purisima Concepcion — Santa Cruz — La 
Soledad — San Jose — San Juan Bautista — San Miguel — San Fernando del Rey, San Luis 
Rey, Santa Ynez — San Rafael — San Francisco Solano — Architecture — General Plan of the 
Missionary Establishments — Houses of the Neophytes — Their Uncleanliness. 

J* J* jt 

Presidios of California 66 

Presidio in Colonization— Founding of San Diego— General Plan of the Presidio— Found- 
ing of Monterey— Rejoicing over the Event— Hard Times at the Presidio— Bear Meat Diet 
— Two Hundred Immigrants for the Presidio — Founding of the Presidio of San Francisco 

— Anza's Overland Route from Sonora — Quarrel with Rivera — Anza's Return to Sonora 

Founding of Santa Barbara— Disappointment of Father Serra— Quarrel of the Captain with 
the Missionaries over Indian Laborers — Soldiers' Dreary Life at the Presidios. 

Jt ^t <£ 



Pueblo Plan of Colonization— Necessity for Agricultural Colonies— Governor Filipe de 
Neve Selects Pueblo Sites— San Jose Founded— Named for the Patron Saint of California 
—Area of the Spanish Pueblo— Government Supplies to Colonists— Founding of the 
Pueblo of Los Angeles— Names of the Founders— Probable Origin of the Name— Sub- 
divisions of Pueblo Lands— Lands Assigned to Colonists— Founding of Branciforte, the 
last Spanish Pueblo. 

The Passing of Spain's Domination 

rlusiveness— The First Foreign Ship in Monterey Bay— Vancouver's Visit— 
Government Monopoly of the Fur Trade— American Smugglers— The Memorias— Russian 
Aggression— Famine at Sitka— Rezanoff's Visit— A Love Affair and Its Tragic Ending— 
' Failure of the Russian Colony Scheme— The War of Mexican Independence- 

Governor— California Loyalists— The Year of Earthquakes— Bouchard 
ns Monterey— The Lima Tallow Ships— Hard Times— No Money and 
I Ik- Friars Supreme. 



Him if the Revolutionists— Plan of Iguala— 

ntces Hi, I mpire- Downfall of Agustin I.— Rise of the Republic— 
101 Sola ...1,1 the Friars— Disloyalty of the Mission 
giance— Arguella, Governor— Advent of Foreign- 
ers—Coming of the Hide Droghers— Indian Outbreak. 





First Decade of Mexican Rule g^ 

Echeandia Governor— Make San Diego His Capital— Padres of the Four Southern Mis- 
sions Take the Oath of Allegiance to the Republic— Friars of the Northern Missions 
Contumacious— Arrest of Padre Sarria— Fxpulsion of the Spaniards— Clandestine De- 
parture of Padres Ripoll and Altimira— Exile of Padre Martinez— The Diputacion— 
Queer Legislation— The Mexican Congress Attempts to Make California a Penal Colony- 
Liberal Colonization Laws— Captain Jedediah S. Smith, the Pioneer of Overland Travel, 
Arrives— Is Arrested— First White Man to Cross the Sierra Nevadas— Coming of the 
Fur Trappers— The Pattie Party— Imprisoned by Echeandia— Death of the Elder Pattie— 
John Ohio Pattie's Bluster— Peg Leg Smith — Ewing Young— The Solis Revolution— A 
Bloodless Battle — Echeandia's Mission Secularization Decree— He Is Hated by the Friars 
— Dios y Libertad — The Fitch Romance. 

Revolutions — The Hijar Colonists 93 

Victoria, Governor — His Unpopularity — Defeated by the Southern Revolutionists — Abdi- 
cates and is Shipped out of the Country — Pio Pico. Governor — Echeandia, Governor of 
Abajenos (Lowers) — Zamarano of the Arribanos (Uppers) — Dual Governors and a No 
Man's Land — War Clouds — Los Angeles the Political Storm Center — Figueroa Appointed 
Gefe Politico — The Dual Governors Surrender — Figueroa the Right Man in the Place — 
Hijar's Colonization Scheme — Padres, the Promoter — Hijar to be Gefe Politico — A Fa- 
mous Ride — A Cobbler Heads a Revolution — Hijar and Padres Arrested and Deported — 
Disastrous End of the Compania Cosmopolitana — Death of Figueroa. 

The Decline and Fall of the Missions 96 

Sentiment vs. History — The Friars' Right to the Mission Lands Only That of Occupa- 
tion — Governor .Borica's Opinion of the Mission System — Title to the Mission Domains — 
Viceroy Bucarili's Instructions — Secularization — Decree of the Spanish Cortes in 1813 — 
Mission Land Monopoly — No Land for Settlers — Secularization Plans, Decrees and Regla- 
mentos — No Attempt to Educate the Neophytes — Destruction of Mission Property, 
Ruthless Slaughter of Cattle — Emancipation in Theory and in Practice — Depravity of the 
Neophytes — What Did Six Decades of Mission Rule Accomplish? — What Became of the 
Mission Estates — The Passing of the Neophytes. 

The Free and Sovereign State of Alta California . 

Castro, Gefe Politico— Nicolas Gutierrez. Comandante and Political Chief— Chico. "Gober- 
nador Propritario" — Makes Himself Unpopular — His Hatred of Foreigners — Makes 
Trouble Wherever He Goes— Shipped Back to Mexico— Gutierrez Again Political Chief- 
Centralism His Nemesis— Revolt of Castro and Alvarado— Gutierrez Besieged— Surrenders 
and Leaves the Country— Declaration of California's Independence— El Estado Libre y 
Soberano de La Alta California— Alvarado Declared Governor— The Ship of State 


Launched— Encounters a Storm— The South Opposes California's Independence— Los An- 
geles Made a City and the Capital of the Territory by the Mexican Congress— The Capital 
Question the Cause of Opposition — War Between the North and South — Battle of San 
Buenaventura — Los Angeles Captured — Peace in the Free State — Carlos Carrillo, Gov- 
ernor of the South — War Again — Defeat of Carrillo at Las Flores — Peace — Alvarado 
Appointed Governor by the Supreme Government— Release of Alvarado's Prisoners of 
State— Exit the Free State. 


Decline and Fall of Mexican Domination 

Hijos del Pais in Power — The Capital Question — The Foreigners Becoming a Menace — 
Graham Affair — Micheltorena Appointed Governor — His Cholo Army — Commodore Jones 
Captures Monterey — The Governor and the Commodore Meet at Los Angeles — Extrava- 
gant Demands of Micheltorena — Revolt Against Micheltorena and His Army of Chicken 
Thieves — Sutter and Graham Join Forces with Micheltorena — The Picos Unite with 
Alvarado Mid Castro — Battle of Cahuenga — Micheltorena and His Cholos Deported — Pico, 
Governor — Castro Rebellious — The Old Feud Between the North and the South — Los 
Angeles the Capital — Plots and Counter-Plots — Pico Made Governor by President Herrera 
— Immigration from the United States. 


Municipal Government — Homes and Home Life of the Californians 114 

I he ".Mm [lustre ^.yuntamiento," or Municipal Council — Its Unlimited Power, Queer Cus- 
toms and Quaint Usages— Blue Laws— How Office Sought the Man and Caught Him— 
Architecture of the Mission Age Not Aesthetic— Dress of the Better Class— Undress of 
the Neophyte and the Peon— Fashions That Changed but Once in Fifty Years— FiliaJ 
Ri pect -Honor Thy Father and Mother— Economy in Government — When Men's Pleas- 
ures and Vices Paid the Cost of Governing— No Fire Department— No Paid Police— No 

rial Expansion b\ Co q i 119 

!ii Wi in Wai Wore Slave Territory Needed— Hostilities Begun in Texas— Trouble 

1 alifornia — Fremont at Monterey— Fremont and Castro Quarrel— Fremont' 

Men Depart Arrival oi Lieutenant Gillespie— Follows Fremont— Fremont's Re- 

Revoll Seizure of Sonoma— A Short-Lived Republic— Commodore 

m\ Retreats S. uthward— Meets Pico's Advancing 

North' 1 os Angeles Stockton and Fremont Invade the South— Pico and 

Vainly Attempl People— Pico's Humane Proclamation— Flight of 

1 ■ ;■ ■ Lo \ngeles— Issues a Proclamation— Some His- 

Pul I bed in California. 



Revolt of the Californians I2 5 

Stockton Returns to His Ship and Fremont Leaves for the North— Captain Gillespie, 
Comandante, in the South— Attempts Reforms— Californians Rebei— The Americans Be- 
siege'd on Fort Hill— Juan Flaca's Famous Ride— Battle of Chino— Wilson's Company 
Prisoners— Americans Agree to Evacute Los Angeles — Retreat to San Pedro— Cannon 
Thrown into the Bay — Flores in Command of the Californians. 


Defeat and Retreat of Mervine's AIex 129 

Mervine, in Command of the Savannah, Arrives at San Pedro — Landing of the Troops — 
Mervine and Gillespie Unite Their Forces— On to Los Angeles— Duvall's Log Book— An 
Authentic Account of the March, Battle and Retreat— Names of the Killed and Wounded— 
Burial of the Dead on Dead Man's Island— Names of the Commanding Officers— Flores 
the Last Gefe Politico and Comandante-General — Jealousy of the Hijos del Pais — Hard 
Times in the Old Pueblo. 

Final Conquest of California 

Affairs in the North— Fremont's Battalion— Battle of Natividad— Bloodless Battle of Santa 
Clara— End of the War in the North— Stockton at San Pedro— Carrillo's Strategy— A Re- 
markable Battle — Stockton Arrives at San Diego — Building of a Fort — Raid on the 
Ranchos — The Flag Episode — General Kearny Arrives at Warner's Pass — Battle of San 
Pasqual — Defeat of Kearny — Heavy Loss — Relief Sent Him from San Diego — Ereparing 
tor the Capture of Los Angeles— The March— Battle of Paso de Bartolo— Battle of La 
Mesa — Small Losses— American Names of These Battles Misnomers. 


Capture and Occupation of the Capital 141 

Surrender of Los Angeles — March of the Victors — The Last Volley — A Chilly Recep- 
tion — A Famous Scold — On the Plaza — Stockton's Headquarters — Emory's Fort — Fre- 
mont's Battalion at San Fernando — The Flight of Flores — Negotiations with General Pico — . 
Treaty of Cahuenga — Its Importance — Fremont's Battalion Enters the City — Fremont. 
Governor — Quarrel Between Kearny and Stockton — Kiarny Departs for San Diego and 
Stockton's Men for San Pedro. 


Transition and Transformation 144 

Colonel Fremont in Command at Los Angeles — The Mormon Battalion — Its Arrival at 
San Luis Rey, Sent to Los Angeles — General Kearny Governor at Monterey — Rival 
Governors — Col. R. B. Mason, Inspector'of the Troops in California — He Quarrels with 
Fremont— Fremont Challenges Him— Colonel Cooke Made Commander of the Military 



District of the Smith— Fremont's Battalion Mustered Out— Fremont Ordered to Report 
Returns to the States with Kearny— Placed Under Arrest— Court-Martialed 
—Found Guilty— Pardoned by the President— Rumors ol a Mexican Invasion— Building 
of a Fort— Col. J. B. Stevenson Commands in the Southern District— A Fourth of July 
ration— The Fort Dedicated and Named Fort Moore— The New York Volunteers- 
Company F, Third U. S. Artillery. Arrives— The Mormon Battalion Mustered Out- 
Commodore Shubrick and General Kearny Jointly Issue a Proclamation to the People- 
Col. R. B. Mason. Military Governor of California— A Policy of Conciliation— Varela. 
Agitator and Revolutionist, Makes Trouble— Overland Immigration Under Mexican Rule— 
The First Train— Dr. Marsh'? Meanness— The Fate of the Donner Party. 

^ J* Jt 


Mexican Laws and American Officials 150 

Richard A. Mason. Commander of the Military Forces and Civil Governor of California — 
Civil and Military Laws — The First Trial by Jury — Americanizing the People — Perverse 
Electors and Contumacious Councilmen — Absolute Alcaldes — Nash at Sonoma and Bill 
Blackburn at Santa Cruz — Queer Decisions — El Canon Perdidc of Santa Barbara — Ex- 
ernor Pio Pico Returns — Treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo — Peace Proclaimed — The 
News Reaches California — Country Acquired by the Treaty — The Volunteers Mustered 

J* ■*« J 

Gold! Gold! Gold! 155 

Traditii ns of Early Gold Discoveries in California — The First Authenticated Discovery — 

Marshall's Discovery at Colomas— Disputed Dates and Conflicting Stories About the 

Discovi r: Sutter's Account— James W. Marshall— His Story— The News Travels Slowly— 

-lit— The Rush Begins— San Francisco Deserted— The Star and the 

.111 Suspend Publication— The News Spreads— Sonorian Migration— Oregonians 

the States— A Tea Caddy Full of Gold at the War Office, 

Washington— Seeing Is Believing— Gold Hunters Come by Land and Sea— The Pacific 

Mail Steamship Company— Magical Growth of San Francisco— The Dry Diggings— Some 

Remarkable Yields— Forty Dollars for a Butcher Knife— Extent of the Gold Fields. 

a State 162 

Bennett Riley, Governor— Unsatisfactory Form of Government— Semi-Civil and Semi-Mil- 
Does X< 'thing— The Slave-Holding Faction Prevents Action— Growing 
" ' Co ini-11 Constitution Making— The .Great Seal— Election of 

11 BuTnett, Governor— Inauguration of a State Government— The 
tituted Stati The Pro-Slavery Faction in Congress— Op- 
pose thi 1 Defeat 1 the Obstructionists— California Admitted into 
;ne Unil ficenl Procession— California Full Grown at Birth— 
The Capital Qu< 1 Losi th< Capital— Vallejo Wins— Goes to' Sacramento- 
Question in the Courts— Sacramento Wins— Capitol Building 
Begun in i860— Completed in 1869. 




The Argonauts 169 

Who First Called Them Argonauts — How They Came and From Where They Came — 
Extent of the Gold Fields — Mining Appliances — Bateas, Gold Pans, Rockers, Long Toms, 
Sluices — Useless Machines and Worthless Inventions — Some Famous Gold Rushes — Gold 
Lake — Gold Bluffs — Kern River — Frazer River — Washoe — Ho for Idaho! — Social Level- 
ing — Capacity for Physical Labor the Standard — Independency and Honesty of the Argo- 


San Francisco 175 

The First House — A Famous Fourth of July Celebration — The Enterprise of Jacob P. Leese 
— General Kearny's Decree for the Sale of Water Lots — Alcalde Bartlett Changes the 
Name of the Town from Yerba Buena to San Francisco — Hostility of the Star to the 
Change — Great Sale of Lots in the City of Francisca, now Benicia — Its Boom Bursts — 
Population of San Francisco September 4, 1847 — Vocations of Its Inhabitants — Population 
March, 1848 — Vioget's Survey — O'Farrell's Survey — Wharves — The First School House— 
The Gold Discovery Depopulates the City— Reaction— Rapid Growth— Description of the 
City in April, 1850 — Great Increase in Population — How the People Lived and Labored — 
Enormous Rents — High Priced Real Estate — Awful Streets — Flour Sacks, Cooking Stove 
and Tobacco' Box Sidewalk — Ships for Houses — The Six Great Fires — The Boom of 1853 — 
The Burst of 1855— Harry Meigs— Steady Growth of the City. 

J* jt Jjt 

Crime, Criminals and Vigilance Committees 182 

But Little Crime in California Under Spanish and Mexican Rule— The First Vigilance 
Committee of California— The United Defenders of Public Safety— Execution of Alispaz 
and Maria del Rosario Villa — Advent of the Criminal Element — Criminal Element in the 
Ascendency— Incendiarism, Theft and Murder— The San Francisco Vigilance Committee 
of 1851 — Hanging of Jenkins — A Case of Mistaken Identity — Burdue for Stuart — Arrest, 
Trial and Hanging of Stuart— Hanging" of Whittaker and McKenzie— The Committee 
Adjourns but Does Not Disband — Its Work Approved — Corrupt Officials — James King 
of William Attacks Political Corruption in the Bulletin — Richardson killed by Cora — 
Scathing Editorials— Murders and Thefts— Attempts to Silence King— King Exposes 
James P. Casey's State's Prison Record— Cowardly Assassination of King by Casey— 
Organization of the Vigilance Committee of 1856— Fatal Mistake of the Herald— Casey 
and Cora in the Hands of the Committee— Death of King— Hanging of Casey and Cora- 
Other Executions— Law and Order Party— Terry and His Chivalrous Friends— They Are 
Glad to Subside — Black List and Deportations — The Augean Stable Cleaned — The Com- 
mittee's Grand Parade — Vigilance Committees in Los Angeles — Joaquin Murrieta and His 
Banditti— Tiburcio Vasquez and His Gang. 

J* J* J* 


Filibusters and Filibustering. 

The Origin of Filibustering in California— Raousset-Boulbon's Futile Schemes 
ecution— William Walker— His Career as a Doctor, Lawyer and Journalist— Recruits Fili- 
busters— Lands at La Paz— His Infamous Conduct in Lower California— Failure of His 


Schemi \ Farcical Trial — Lionized in San Francisco — His Operations in Nicaragua- 
Battles — Decree- Slavery in Nicaragua — Driven Out of Nicaragua — Tries Again — Is Cap- 
tured and Shot — Crabb and His Unfortunate Expedition — Massacre of the Misguided 
Adventurers — Filibustering Ends When Secession Begins. 

From Gold to Grain and Fruits 199 

Mexican Farming — But Little Fruit and Few Vegetables — Crude Farming Implements — 
The Agricultural Capabilities of California Underestimated — Wheat the Staple in Central 
California — Cattle in the South — Gold in the North — Big Profits in Grapes — Orange Culture 
Begun in the South — Apples, Peaches, Pears and Plums — The Sheep Industry — The Famine 
Years of 1863 and 1864 Bring Disaster to the Cattle Kings of the South — The Doom of 
Their Dynasty — Improvement of Domestic Animals — Exit the Mustang — Agricultural Col- 

Civil War — Loyalty and Disloyalty 

State Division and What Became of It — Broderick's Early Life — Arrival in California- 
Enters the Political Arena — Gwin and Broderick — Duel Between Terry and Broderick- 
Death of Broderick — Gwin-Latham Combination — Firing on Fort Sumter — State Loyal- 
Treasonable Utterance — A Pacific Republic — Disloyalty Rampant in Southern California- 
l in. hi Sentiments Triumphant — Confederate Sympathizers Silenced. 


Trade, Travel and Transportation 

Spanish Trade— Fixed Prices— No Cornering the Market— Mexico's Methods of Trade— 
II., MM, Droghers— Trade— Ocean Commerce and Travel— Overland Routes— Overland 
Stage Routes— Inland Commerce— The Pony Express— Stage Lines— Pack Trains— Camel 
Caravans— The Telegraph and the Railroad— Express Companies. 

Railroads 2I g 

R Iroad Scheme— The Pacific Railroad in Politics— Northern 
Routes and Southern Rout in 1 Railroad in California— Pacific Railroad Rills in Con- 
V Decade -1 Vgitation and No Road The Central and Union Pacific Railroads- 
Ac' '" |S| '-' Subsidies The Southern Pacific Railroad System— Its Incorporation and 
Charlei It- Growth and Development -The Santa Fe System— Other Railroads. 



The Indian Question. 

The Spaniards and Mexicans Not Town Builders — Francisca. on the Straits of Carquinez, 
the First American City — Its Brilliant Prospects and Dismal Failure — San Francisco — Its 
Population and Expansion — Los Angeles, the Only City in California Before the Conquest 
— Population and Development — Oakland, an American City — Population — Sacramento. 
the Metropolis of the Mines — San Jose, the Garden City — Stockton, the Entrepot of the 
Southern Alines — San Diego, the Oldest City — Fresno — Vallejo — Nevada City — Grass Val- 
ley — Eureka — Marysville — Redding — Pasadena— Pomona — San Bernardino — Riverside. 


Treatment of the Indians by Spain and Mexico— A Conquista— Unsanitary Condition of the 
Mission Villages— The Mission Neophyte and What Became of Him— Wanton Outrages on 
the Savages— Some So-Called Indian Wars— Extermination of the Aborigines— Indian 
Island Massacre— The Mountaineer Battalion— The Two Years' War— The Modoc War. 

Some Political History 

Advent of the Chinese— Kindly Received at First— Given a Public Reception— The "China 
Boys" Become Too Many— Agitation and Legislation Against Them— Dennis Kearney 
and the Sand Lot Agitation— Kearney's Slogan, "The Chinese Must Go"— How Kearney 
Went— The New Constitution— A Mixed Convention— Opposition to the Constitution— 
The Constitution Adopted — Defeat of the Workingmen's Party — A New Treaty with 
China— Governors of California, Spanish, Mexican and American. 


Education and Educational Institution 235 

Public Schools in the Spanish Era — Schools of the Mexican Period — No Schools for the 
Neophytes— Early American Schools— First School House in San Francisco— The First 
American Teacher — The First School Law — A Grand School System — University of the 
Pacific— College of California— University of California— Stanford University— Normal 

Cities of California — Their Origin and Growth 




Abbott, C. S 573 

Adcock, J. A. G 670 

Albright, Joseph 546 

Alexander, Elmer P 589 

Alexander, Hon. J. K 381 

Allen, Thomas F 728 

Alzina, Enoch 673 

Anderson, C. L., M. D 502 

Anderson, Capt. Gilbert L 508 

Anderson, J. L 595 

Andresen, J 3 l 9 

Andrews, Perry M 54S 

Andrews, Truman 299 

Angell, F. A 502 

Anthony, Hon. Elihu 667 

Arentz, Rev. Theodore 646 

Arguello, Luis L 727 

Atteridge, Arthur 633 

Austin, F. Sands 547 


Baker, William A 564 

Baldwin, Alfred 271 

Baldwin, Levi K 679 

Barbree, J. M 288 

Barbree, W. R 288 

Bardin, Charles 642 

Bardin, Henry 647 

Barneberg, J. # W 648 

Barnhardt, J. P 727 

Barrett, Thomas 586 

Bartholomew, Lewis L 557 

Bedell, Alexander 498 

Beebee, William D 347 

Beebee, William L 347 

Beilby, Joseph W 652 

Bennett, W. C 558 

Bentley, William H 653 

Besse, John N 648 

Besse, Milton 674 

Bias, William H 512 

Bierer, Benjamin B 597 

Bixby, A. William, M. D 556 

Black, W. W 670 

Blackburn, Jacob A 297 

Blackburn, Judge William 639 


Blessing Brothers 722 

Bliss, Moses B 698 

Bloom, Irvin T 734 

Booth, A. R 306 

Bosse, Henry 556 

Boston, Joseph 497 

Boysen, John J 558 

Bradbury, Frank R 554 

Brassell, Hans P 552 

Bray, John H 563 

Breen, John 596 

Brendlin, August 654 

Brewer, Lyman 548 

Bridgewater, Cyrus W 553 

Briggs, Hon. H. W 283 

Brooks, Benjamin 554 

Brooks, M. -H 562 

Brooks, Truman 369 

Brown, James A 492 

Buffington, J. Q 562 

Burke, Mrs. Mary 653 

Burnett, J. K 654 

Burnett, M. D 401 

Butler, George 492 

Butler, George R 552 


Call, Silas B 298 

Callihan, William 568 

Carr, E. M 534 

Carr, Hon. Jesse D 265 

Casey, William 561 

Cass, James 321 

Chamberlain, Charles G 277 

Chaney, William 7 2 6 

Chappell, Dr. J. A 530 

Chappell, Thomas 605 

Chope, Mrs. Nellie M 526 

Clark, David C 681 

Clark, George D 531 

Clark, H. H., M. D 675 

Clark, William W 491 

Clough, David M 533 

Cochran, J. D 532 

Congdon, Willis R„ M. D.... 661 

Cook. William A 532 

Cooley, William R 545 



Cooper, William B 530 

Corey, Hiram 465 

Corey, Josiah P 282 

Costello, Abraham 564 

Cowles. Horace H 682 

Cowles, Timothy 355 

Cox, Abraham P 455 

Cox, Peter 685 


Daugherty, G A 709 

Davis, Mrs. E 456 

Davis, George L 459 

Davis, Hiram L 621 

DeHart, William 282 

Demartini, Paul B 456 

Dodge, William R 433 

Donati, Samuel 726 

Dool, William H 721 

Dooling, Hon. M. T 569 

Doud, Francis 461 

Driscoll, Bartholomew L 646 

Eardley, B. A 593 

Eaton, E. A 462 

Eaton, Robert W 568 

Edgar, Joseph 467 

Egan, Judge Martin 467 

Ehnert, August 721 

Elberg, Mark 315 

Elliott, William T 700 

Ellis, Ozro M 400 

Ely, William H 488 

Enright, Joseph D 490 

Estabrook, C. R 7-'o 

Estudillo, Jose V 466 

Esty, J. D 488 

Evans, W. H 461 

Fagen, Mrs. Mary E.. 


Feliz, Hon. F. P 


Felts, J. M 


Fiedler, John F 


Field, Thomas J 




Filipponi. Dennis 359 

Fletcher, H. S 278 

Flint. R. G 356 

Flint, Thomas, Jr 719 

Foreman, Solomon W 337 

Foster. Jacob 720 

Foster, Stephen T 44° 

Fowler, James D 363 

Fredson, A. H 598 

Freeman, Frank W 361 

Fuller, James H 676 


Gagnon, Michael 5-9 

Galbraith, Archibald M., M. D. 274 

Galligan, Peter C 73° 

Garcia, A. C 7i& 

Gardner. W. M 378 

Cause, Frank E 377 

Geil, Samuel F 551 

Gibson, Alexander C 372 

Gilkey, William T 37'J 

Gingg, G. C 37i 

Gonzales, Miss B 370 

Gonzales, M. E., M. D 370 

Gordon, S. B., M. D 366 

Grant, Miss E. May 600 

Graves, Thomas 365 

Graves, Hon. William 718 

Greene, Harry A 272 

Greene, William E 717 

Gregg, Joseph W 364 

Griswold, William 309 

Guthrie, Samuel 362 


Haight, N. H., M. D 393 

Hall, Hon. James A 276 

Hall. Richard F 275 

Hamilton, Robert E 508 

Handley, J. J 393 

Hanson, S. H 655 

Hardie, Angus M 384 

Harloe, Capt. Marcus 289 

Hartman. Isaiah 645 

Hassett, Rev. P 318 

Hatton. William 603 

Hawkins, Thomas S 577 

Hazard, Robert J 411 

Hebert, Cheri 7. 523 

Hebert, Zephrin 523 

Helgesen, S., M. D 382 

Hersom, John A 383 

Higby, Hon. William 717 

Hihn, Frederick A 259 

Hildebrant, Noah 37« 

Hill, Prof. Charles C 277 


Hill, Hon. W. J 736 

Hitchcock, Benjamin 294 

Hoffmann, Christian 669 

Hollingsworth. Thomp-~.ui L - 208 

Hollister, Hon. John H 317 

Hollister, j. Hubbard 311 

Holohan. Richard 384 

Houghton, F. K 392 

Hoyt, Hazen 388 

Hudner, John L 576 

Hudson, Mark A 386 

Hudson, Hon. W. G 387 

Hughes, Alfred 570 

Hughes, M 386 

Hunter, John 385 

Hushbeck, Lewis 57° 

Hutson, N 711 


Iverson, E. P 331 

I verson, John 580 

Iverson, J. B 331 

Ivins, E. C 673 


Jack, R. E 304 

James, William W 397 

Jeff ery, James 735 

Jenkins. Miss Isabelle M 396 

Jessen & Petersen 396 

Johnson, Hon. Charles H 295 

Johnson, R. F 712 

Johnson, W. G 395 

Jordan, John 394 

Jordan, Patrick 394 

Joy, John G 267 

Judd. A. N 578 


Kaetzel, Philip 39S 

Kalar, J. D 401 

Kane, John 510 

Karner, Zadock 705 

Km. M. R 710 

Kellogg, Frank F." 316 

Kellogg, Giles P 316 

Kelly, Edward 513 

Kennaugh, John 513 

Kent, John T 300 

Kerns, Mr-. Mary 511 

King, James 1 485 

King, Thomas A 685 

K.rk, Edward W 402 

Knight, Benjamin K 514 

Kuhlitz, Charles 733 

Kunitz, Johan E 651 

Lacy. C. F 702 

Lambert, Capt. T. G 402 

Lamborn, Josiah W 403 

Landrum, Mark L 404 

Lathrop. R. P 656 

Lee, Hon. Julius 405 

Lee, Tom 406 

Leese, David 507 

Leese, Jacob P 503 

Leonard, J. J. C 518 

Lewis, J. J 406 

Lincoln, Orlando J 517 

Lindsay, Carl E 707 

Linscott, John W 687 

Littlefield, Edward E 407 

Loeber, Henry F 536 

Long, Samuel B 445 

Lorenzen, Lawrence 519 

Lucas, Frederick W 686 

Lull, George W 417 

Lynch, Sedgwick J 708 

Lynskey, Walter 688 


-McCarthy. Charles P 706 

McCollum, Joseph 6S9 

McCurry, Dr. J. M 353 

McDougall, James H 284 

McFadden, Charles 615 

McGowan, William J 447 

McGuire, John A., M. D 688 

McKinnon, Duncan 539 

McLean, Allan 587 

McManus, L. M 448 

Mann, Christopher 454 

Mann, Ezekiel J 710 

Mann, Jackson 701 

Mansfield, C. H 453 

Manuel. A. A 583 

Margetts, Charles U 447 

Martin, Charles M 449 

Martin, Hon. Edward 604 

Martinelli, Louis 450 

Mason, S. J., Sr 610 

Mattison, Frank 524 

Meadowcroft, William H 450 

Meder, Moses A 698 

Menke, J. H 354 

Merritt, Hon. Josiah 289 

Merritt, Manuel R 310 

Miller, Capt. Charles F 599 

Monteith, A 460 

Moreland, Samuel 391 

Moretti, Louis 600 

Morgan. John W 606 

Morcy, James 610 




Muma, B. Frank 455 

Murphy, John D 702 

Muscio, Abram 662 


Nelson, Albert 728 

Nelson, Herbert 412 

Nelson, Henry 408 

Newsom, Davis F 443 

Nichols, Urial S 611 

Norris, B. F 407 


O'Brien, William 414 

Oliver, Joseph K 413 

Orcutt, Jacob H 342 

Ord, George M 611 


Palmer, Charles A 734 

Palmer, George F 570 

Palmtag, Christian 430 

Palmtag, William 584 

Pardee, Hon. George 343 

Parker, W. E 429 

Parsons, George W 428 

Parsons, Henry F 616 

Parsons, Worthington 627 

Paterson, Alexander 42S 

Patten, J. A 414 

Patterson, Benjamin F 731 

Patton, John W 418 

Payne, Ernest M 419 

Peery, Joseph W 690 

Pell, James A 427 

Pence, Wallace M 567 

Perry, Elliott D 617 

Peterson, Peter 691 

Pfister, Albert 312 

Phillips, Thomas E 426 

Phillips, W. C 426 

Pickles, Shelley 424 

Pierce, B. B 680 

Pinho, A. G 425 

Pope, Horace W 615 

Porter, B. F 612 

Porter, Robert 423 

Porter, Warren R 696 

Potter, David W 424 

Prinz, Herman J. 420 

Putnam, R. W 419 


Quick, M. W 618 

Quirk, Michael 535 



Radcliff, Hon. George G 349 

Rambo, Samuel H 658 

Rankin, J. E„ M. D 706 

Redman, James 622 

Redman, K. F 309 

Reed, Charles C 354 

Reed, Charles H 430 

Renison, Hon. Thomas. ....'.. 344 

Rianda, Stephen 618 

Ring, Joseph H 735 

Riordan, Thomas J 732 

Rist, Henry M 732 

Robertson, Robert 658 

Rodgers, James M 487 

Rodrick, David 542 

Rogers, Robert J 536 

Rogge, Henry T 579 

Romie, Charles T 689 

Roselip, Albert 305 

Ross, Hugh, M. D 545 

Rowe, George W 586 

Rowe, James H 525 

Rowe, Marion T 520 

Ryan, John M 583 


Sally, Abraham 739 

Sanborn, Lucian 334 

Sanborn, L. W 334 

Sanborn, William A 340 

Sargent, Bradley V 725 

Sargent, J. P 595 

Sawyer, E. A 697 

Scaroni, Pio 624 

Scott, J. B 590 

Scott, William T 589 

Sebastian, R M 697 

Shackelford, R. M 588 

Shelby, Granville C 622 

Shipsey, William 334 

Short, Cyrus 662 

Simmler, Hon. J. J 281 

Smith, A. W 663 

Smith. Leonard J 628 

Smyth, Rev. B 736 

Spence, Rudolph B 664 

Spencer, W. H 341 

Spurrier, George F 668 

Steele, Edgar W 7-'9 

Steele, Hon. George 338 

Stewart, Neil 585 

Stocking, Joseph C 486 

Stoesser, Otto 359 

Stoffers, Henry 624 

Storm, Christian F 738 

Storm, Peter 475 


Stoters, Rev. Peter 485 

Sullivan, William 482 

Swanton, A. P 623 

Swanton, Fred W 741 

Swenson, Christian S 482 


Tarleton, Thomas S 629 

Telleen, Charles A 481 

Tennant, John 730 

Therwachter, Fred 470 

Thompson, Christopher 730 

Thompson, Edward D 629 

Thompson, Joseph A 73S 

Thompson, John H 480 

Thompson, Richard 627 

Thompson, Uriah W 633 

Tidball, Capt. Thomas T 375 

Titamore, Herbert E 479 

Tognazzini, A 477 

Tognazzini, Peter 478 

Tollett, Henry C 517 

Tompkins, Heman 475 

Trafton, John E 423 

Trafton, William A 287 

Trescony, Julius A 501 

Tuttle, Daniel 472 

Turtle, Iowa H 476 

Turtle, Morris B 628 

Tuttle, Owen 593 

Tuttle, Owen S 4;-' 

Tynan, Michael 471 


Underwood, A. R 471 

Underwood, Charles 470 


Vanderhurst, William 293 

Van Gordon, Gilbert 319 

Van Gordon, Ira 318 

M.-l >owell R }.^2 

Villegas, Y. P 469 

Vorbeck, Fritz 469 


Wagner. John 641 

Wahrlich, William 333 

Waite, H. U 436 

Warden, I lor. km M 325 

Warden. William II 699 

Waters, James. . - 49s 

Watkins, E. C 

Walters. P. K.. M. D 434 

David 446 

1 homas J 695 



Weferling, Frederick E 440 

Welch. Richard R 439 

Werner, Charles 439 

Wessel, H 43§ 

Whicher, John 35° 

White. Almon 635 

White, Edward 326 

White, William A 641 

Wideman, Alfred 74° 

Wilder, Deloss D 630 


Wiley, Henry 3°5 

Wilkins. Peter V 634 

Willey, R. H 322 

Williams. E. L 640 

Willits, L. V 437 

Wilson, Singleton W 320 

Winkle, Henry 635 

Wood, Hiram J 437 

Wood, William F 636 

Woods, Victor H 740 


Work, T. A 600 

Wright, S. V 435 


York, Andrew 328 

Younger, Charles B 715 

Younglove, C. A 446 


Zabala. Pedro 303 

, ■yk^t^^^v 7 




FOR centuries there had been a vague tra- 
dition of a land lying somewhere in the 
seemingly limitless expanse of ocean 
stretching westward from the shores of Europe. 
The poetical fancy of the Greeks had located in 
it the Garden of Hesperides. where grew the 
Golden Apples. The myths and superstitions of 
the middle ages had peopled it with gorgons 
and demons and made it the abode of lost souls. 

When Columbus proved the existence of a 
new world beyond the Atlantic, his discovery 
did not altogether dispel the mysteries and su- 
perstitions that for ages had enshrouded the 
fabled Atlantis, the lost continent of the Hesperi- 
des. Romance and credulity had much to do 
with hastening the exploration of the newly dis- 
covered western world. Its interior might hold 
wonderful possibilities for wealth, fame and con- 
quest to the adventurers who should penetrate 
its dark unknown. The dimly told traditions of 
the natives were translated to fit the cupidity or 
the credulity of adventurers, and sometimes 
served to promote enterprises that produced re- 
sults far different from those originally intended. 

The fabled fountain of youth lured Ponce 
de Leon over many a league in the wilds of 
Florida; and although he found no spring spout- 
ing forth the elixir of life, he explored a rich 
and fertile country, in which the Spaniards 
planted the first settlement ever made within the 
territory now held by the United States. The 
legend of El Dorado, the gilded man of the 
golden lake, stimulated adventurers to brave tin- 
horrors of the miasmatic forests of the Amazon 
and the Orinoco; and the search for that gold- 

covered hombre hastened, perhaps, by a hun- 
dred years, the exploration of the tropical re- 
gions of South America. Although the myth of 
Ouivira that sent Coronado wandering over des- 
ert, mountain and plain, far into the interior of 
North America, and his quest for the seven cities 
of Cibola, that a romancing monk, Marcos de 
Niza, "led by the Holy Ghost," imagined he 
saw in the wilds of 1'imeria, brought neither 
wealth nor pride of conquest to that adventur- 
ous explorer, yet these myths were the indirect 
cause of giving to the world an early km >u 
of the vast regions to the .north of Mexico. 

When Cortes' lieutenant, Gonzalo de Sando- 
val, gave his superior officer an account of a 
wonderful island ten days westward from the 
Pacific coast of Mexico, inhabited by women 
only, and exceedingly rich in pearls and gold, 
although he no doubt derived his story from 
Montalvo's romance, "The Sergias of Esplan- 
dian," a popular novel of that day. yet Cortes 
seems to have given credence to his subordi- 
nate's tale, and kept in view the conquest of the 

To the energy, the enterprise ami the genius 
of llernan Cortes i- due the early exploration 
of the northwest coast of North America. In 
[522, eighty-five years before the English 
planted their first colony in America, and nearly 
a century before the landing i f the Pilgrims on 
Plymouth rock, Cortes had established a ship- 
yard at Zacatula, the most northern port on the 
Pacific • country that he had just 

red. I lere he intended to build si 
explore the upper coast of the South S 


the Pacific Ocean was then called), but his good 
fortune, that had hitherto given success to his 
undertakings, seemed to have deserted him. and 
disaster followed disaster. His warehouse, 
filled with material for shipbuilding, that with 
great labor and expense had been packed on 
muleback from Vera Cruz, took fire and all was 
destroyed. It required years to accumulate an- 
other supply. He finally, in 1527, succeeded in 
launching four ships. Three of these were taken 
possession of by the king's orders for service in 
the East Indies. The fourth and the smallest 
made a short voyage up the coast. The com- 
mander. Maldonado, returned with glowing re- 
ports of a rich country he had discovered. 1 le 
imagined he had seen evidence of the existence 
of gold and silver, but he brought none with 

In 1528 Cortes was unjustly deprived of the 
government of the country he had conquered. 
His successor, Nuno de Guzman, president of 
the royal audiencia, as the new form of gov- 
ernment for New Spain (Mexico) was called, had 
pursued him fur years with the malignity of a 
demon. Cortes returned to Spain to defend 
himself against the rancorous and malignant 
charges of his enemies. He was received at 
court with a show of high honors, but which in 
reality were hollow professions of friendship 
and insincere expressions of esteem. He was 
rewarded by the bestowal of an empty title. He 
was empowered to conquer and colonize coun- 
tries at his own expense, for which he was to 
receive the twelfth part of the revenue. Cortes 
returned to Mexico ami in 1532 he had two ships 
fitted out. which sailed from Acapulco, in June 
of that year, up the coast of Jalisco. Portions 
of the crews of each vessel mutinied. The mu- 
tineers were put aboard of the vessel com- 
manded by Mazuela and the other vessels, com- 
manded by Hurtardo, continued the voyage as 
far as the Yaqui country. Here, having landed 
in search of provisions, tin- natives massacred 
the commander and all the crew. The crew of 
the other vessel shared the same fate lower 
down the coast. The stranded vessel was after- 
wards plundered and dismantled by Nuno de 
(in/man, who was about as much of a savage 
the predatorj and murderous natives. 

In 1533 Cortes, undismayed by his disasters, 
fitted out two more ship.s for the exploration 
of the northern coast of Mexico. On board one 
of these ships, commanded by Bercerra de Men- 
doza, the crew, headed by the chief pilot, Jim- 
inez, mutinied. Mendoza was killed and all 
who would not join the mutineers were forced 
to go ashore on the coast of Jalisco. The muti- 
neers, to escape punishment by the authorities, 
under the command of the pilot. Fortuno Jim- 
inez, sailed westerly away from the coast of 
tlie main land. After several days' sailing out 
of sight of land, they discovered what they sup- 
posed to be an island. They landed at a place- 
now known as La Paz, Lower California. Here 
Jiminez and twenty of his confederates were 
killed by the Indians, or their fellow mutineers, 
it is uncertain which. The survivors of the ill- 
fated expedition managed to navigate the vessel 
back to Jalisco, where they reported the dis- 
ci lyery of an island rich in gold and pearls. This 
fabrication doubtlessly saved their necks. There 
is no record of their punishment for mutiny. 
Cortes' other ship accomplished even less than 
the one captured by the mutineers. Grixalvo, 
the commander of this vessel, discovered a des- 
olate island, forty leagues south of Cape San 
Lucas, which he named Santo Tomas. But the 
discovery that should immortalize Grixalvo, and 
place him in the category with the romancing 
Monk, de Xiza and Sandoval of the Amazonian 
isle, was the seeing of a merman. It swam about 
about the ship for a long time, playing antics 
like a monkey for the amusement of the sailors, 
washing its face with its hands, combing its hair 
with its fingers: at last, frightened by a sea 
bird, it disappeared. 

Cortes, having heard of Jiminez's discovery, 
and possibly believing it to be Sandoval's isle 
of tin- Amazons, rich with gold ami pearls, set 
about building more ships for exploration and 
for the colonization of the island. He ordered 
the building of three ships at Tehauntepec. The 
royal audencia having failed to give him any 
redress or protection against his enemy. Nuno 
de Guzman, he determined to punish him him- 
self. Collecting a considerable force of cava- 
liers and soldiers, he marched to Chiametla. 
There he found his vessel. La Concepcion, lying 



on her beam ends, a wreck, ami plundered of 
everything of value. He failed to find Guzman. 
that worthy having taken a hasty departure be- 
fore his arrival. His ships having conic up 
from Tehauntepec, he embarked as many sol- 
diers and settlers as his vessels would carry, and 
sailed away for Jiminez's island. May 3, 1535, 
he landed at the port where Jiminez and his fel- 
low mutineers were killed, which he named 
Santa Cruz. The colonists were landed on the 
supposed island and the ships were sent back 
to Chiametla for the remainder of the settlers. 
His usual ill luck followed him. The vessels 
became separated on the gulf in a storm and 
the smaller of the three returned to Santa Cruz. 
Embarking in it, Cortes set sail to find his miss- 
ing ships. He found them at the port of Guaya- 
bal, one loaded with provisions, the other dis- 
mantled and run ashore. Its sailors had de- 
serted and those of the other ship were aboul 
to follow. Cortes stopped this, took command 
of the vessels and had them repaired. When the 
repairs were completed he set sail for his colony. 
But misfortune followed him. His chief pile it 
was killed by the falling of a spar when scarce 
out of sight of land. Cortes took command of 
the vessels himself. Then the ships encountered 
a terrific storm that threatened their destruc- 
tion. Finally they reached their destination, 
Santa Cruz. There again misfortune awaited 
him. The colonists could obtain no sustenance 
from the barren soil of the desolate island. 
Their provisions exhausted, some of them died 
of starvation and the others killed themselves 
by over-eating when relief came. 

Cortes, finding the interior of the supposed 
island as desolate and forbidding as the coast, 
and the native inhabitants degraded and brutal 
savages, without houses or clothing, living on 
vermin, insects and the scant products of the 
sterile land, determined to abandon his coloniza- 
tion scheme. Gathering together the wretched 
survivors of his colony, he embarked them on 
his ships and in the early part of 1537 landed 
them in the port of Acapulco. 

At some time between 1535 and 1537 the 
name California was applied to the supposed 
island, but whether applied by Cortes to en- 
courage his disappointed colonists, or whether 

given by them in derision, is an unsettled ques- 
tion. 1 he name itself is derived from a Spanish 
romance, the "Sergas de Esplandian," written 
by Ordonez de Montalvo and published in Se- 
ville, Spain, about the year 1510, The pa ag 
in which the name California occurs is as fol- 
lows: "Know thai on the right hand of the In- 
dies there is an island called California, very near 
the terrestrial paradise, which was people 1 with 
black women, without an) men among them, 
because they were accustomed to live after the 
fashion of Amazons. The) were of strong and 
hardened bodies, of ardent courage and great 
force. The island was the strongest in the 
world from its steep rocks and great cliffs. 
Their arms were all of gold and so were the 
caparison of the wild beasts which they rode, 
after having trained them, for in all the island 
there is no other metal." The "steep rocks and 
great cliffs" of Jiminez's island may have sug- 
gested to Cortes or to his colonists some fan- 
cied resemblance to tin California of Montalvo's 
romance, but there was no other similarity. 

For years Cortes had been fitting out ex- 
peditions by land and sea to explore the un 
known regions northward of that portion of 
Mexico which he had conquered, but disaster 
after disaster had wrecked his hopes and im- 
poverished his purse. The last expedition sent 
out by him was one commanded by Francisco 
Ulloa', who. in 1539. with two ships, sailed up 
the Gulf of California, or Sea of Cortes, 
Sonora side, to its head. Thence he proceeded 
down the inner coast of Lower California to 
the cape at its southern extremity, which he 
doubled, and then sailed up the outer coast to 
Cabo del Engano, the "Cape of Deceit." Fail- 
ing to make any progress against the head 
winds, April 5. 1510. the two ships parted com- 
pany in a storm. The smaller one. the Santa 
Agueda. returned safely to Santiago. 'I In- 
larger, La Trinidad, after vainly endeavoring to 
continue the voyage, turned back. The fate of 
Ulloa and of the vessel too. is uncertain. One 
authority says he was assassinated alter n 
ing the coast ' liers, 

who. for some trivial can 
death ; anothi r accounl saj - that 
known of his fate, nor is it certain!' 



whether his vessel ever returned. The only 
thing accomplished by this voyage was to dem- 
onstrate that Lower California was a peninsula. 
Even this fact, although proved by Ulloa's voy- 
age, was not fully admitted by geographers until 
two centuries later. 

In 1540 Cortes returned to Spain to obtain, if 
possible, some recognition and recompense from 
the king for his valuable services. His declin- 
ing years had been tilled with bitter disappoint- 
ments. Shipwreck and mutiny at sea; disaster 
and defeat to his forces on land; the treachery 
of his subordinates and the jealousy of royal of- 
ficials continually thwarted his plans and wasted 
his substance. After expending nearly a million 
dollars in explorations, conquests and attempts 
at colonization, fretted and worried by the in- 
difference and the ingratitude of a monarch foi 
whom he had sacrified so much, disappointed, 
disheartened, impoverished, he died at an ob- 
scure hamlet near Seville, Spain, in December, 

The next exploration that had something to 
do with the discovery of California was that of 
Hernando de Alarcon. With two ships he sailed 
from Acapulco, May 9. 1540, up the Gulf of Cal- 
ifornia. His object was to co-operate with the 
expedition of Coronado. Coronado, with an 
army of four hundred men, had marched from 
Culiacan. April 22, 1540. to conquer the seven 
cities of Cibola. In the early part of 1537 Al- 
varo Nunez Cabaza de Vaca and three compan- 
ions 1 the only survivors of six hundred men that 
Panfilo de Narvaes, ten years before, had landed 
in Florida for the conquest of that province) 
after almost incredible sufferings and hardships 
arrived in Culiacan on the Pacific coast. On 
their long journey passing from one Indian tribe 
to another they had seen many wondrous things 
and had heard of many more. Among others 
they had been told of seven great cities in a 
country called Cibola that were rich in gold and 
silver and precious stones. 

\ Franciscan friar, Marcos de Niza, having 
heard their wonderful stories determined to find 
the seven cities. Securing the service of 
Estevanico, a negro slave, who was one of Ca- 
beza de Vaca's party, he sel out in quest of the 
cities. With a number of Indian porters and 

Estevanico as a guide, he traveled northward 
a hundred leagues when he came to a desert 
that took four days to cross. Beyond this he 
found natives who told him of people four days 
further away who had gold in abundance. He 
sent the negro to investigate and that individual 
sent back word that Cibola was yet thirty days' 
journey to the northward. Following the trail 
of his guide, Xiza travelled for two weeks cross- 
ing several deserts. The stories of the magnifi- 
cence of the seven cities increased with every 
tribe of Indians through whose country he 
passed. At length, when almost to the prom- 
ised land, a messenger brought the sad tidings 
that Estevanico had been put to death with all 
of his companions but two by the inhabitants of 
Cibola. To go forward meant death to the 
monk and all his party, but before turning back 
he climbed a high mountain and looked down 
upon the seven cities with their high houses and 
teeming populations thronging their streets. 
Then he returned to Culiacan to tell his wonder- 
ful stories. His tales fired the ambition and 
stimulated the avarice of a horde of adventurers. 
At the head of four hundred of these Coronado 
penetrated the wilds of Pimeria (now Arizona). 
He found seven Indian towns but no lofty 
houses, no great cities, no gold or silver. Cibola 
was a myth. Hearing of a country called Ouivira 
far to the north, richer than Cibola, with part of 
his force he set out to find it. In his search he 
penetrated inland as far as the plains of Kansas, 
but Ouivira proved to be as poor as Cibola, and 
Coronado returned disgusted. The Friar tie 
Niza had evidently drawn on his imagination 
which seemed to lie quite rich in cities. 

Alarcon reached the head of the Gulf of Cal- 
ifornia. Seeing wdiat he supposed to be an in- 
let, but the water proving too shallow for his 
>hips to enter it. he manned two boats and 
found his supposed inlet to be the mouth of a 
great river. He named it Buena Guia (Good 
Guide) now the Colorado. He sailed up it some 
distance and was probably the first white man to 

1 Fool upon the soil of Upper California. He 
heard of Coronado in the interior but was unable 
to establish communication with him. He de- 
scended the river in his boats, embarked on his 
vessels and returned to Mexico. The Yicerov 


Mendoza, who had fitted out the expedition of 
Alarcon, was bitterly disappointed on the re- 
turn of that explorer. He had hoped to find the 
ships loaded with the spoils of the seven cities. 

The report of the discovery of a great river did 
not interest his sordid soul. Alarcon found him- 
self a disgraced man. He retired to private life 
and not long after died a broken hearted man. 



WHILE Coronado was still wandering 
in the interior of the continent search- 
ing for Quivira and its king, Tatar- 
rax, who wore a long beard, adored a gol- 
den cross and worshipped an image of the 
queen of heaven, Pedro de Alvarado, one of 
Cortes' former lieutenants, arrived from Guate- 
mala, of which country he was governor, with a 
fleet of twelve ships. These were anchored in 
the harbor of Navidad. Mendoza, the viceroy, 
had been intriguing with Alvarado against 
Cortes; obtaining an interest in the fleet, he 
and Alvarado began preparations for an ex- 
tensive scheme of exploration and conquest. Be- 
fore they had perfected their plans an insurrec- 
tion broke out among the Indians of Jalisco, and 
Pedro de Alvarado in attempting" to quell it 
was killed. Mendoza fell heir to the fleet. The 
return of Coronado about this time dispelled the 
popular beliefs in Cibola and Quivira and put 
an end to further explorations of the inland re- 
gions of the northwest. 

It became necessary for Mendoza to find 
something for his fleet to do. The Islas de 
Poiniente, or Isles of the Setting Sun (now the 
Philippines), had been discovered by Magellan. 
To these Mendoza dispatched five ships of the 
fleet under command of Lopez de Yillalobos to 
establish trade with the natives. Two ships of 
the fleet, the San Salvador and the Yitoria, were 
placed under the command of Juan Rodriguez 
Cabrillo, reputed to be a Portuguese by birth and 
dispatched to explore the northwest coasl of 
the Pacific. Cabrillo sailed from Navidad, June 
27, 1542. Rounding the southern extremity of 
the peninsula of Lower California, he sailed up 
its outer coast. August 20 he reached Cabo d< I 
Engano, the most northerly point of CJlloa's ex 
proration. On the 28th df September, 1542. he 

entered a bay which he named San Miguel (now 
San Diego), where he found "a land locked and 
very good harbor." lie remained in this harbor 
until October 3. Continuing his voyage he sailed 
.along the coast eighteen leagues, discovering 
two islands about seven leagues from the main 
land. These he named San Salvador and Yitoria 
after his ships (now Santa Catalina and San 
Clemente). On the 8th of October he crossed 
the channel between the islands and main land 
and anchored in a bay which he named Bahia 
de los Fumos y Fuegos, the Bay of Smokes and 
Fires (now known as the Bay of San Pedro). 
Heavy clouds of smoke hung over the head- 
lands of the coast; and inland, fierce fires were 
raging. The Indians either through accident 
or design had set fire to the long dry grass that 
covered the plains at this season of the year. 

After sailing six leagues further up the coast 
he anchored in a large ensenada or bight, now 
the Bay of Santa Monica. It i- uncertain 
whether he landed at either place. The next 
day he sailed eight leagues to an Indian town 
which he named the Pueblo de las Canoa 
town of Canoes). This town was located on or 
near the present site of San Buenaventura. 
Sailing northwestward he passed through the 
Santa Barbara' Channel, discoverin 
of Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and San s 
Continuing up the coast lie passed a long nar- 
row point of land extending into the sea, which 
from its resemblance to a galley beat lie named 
Cabo de la Galera, the Cape of ili'- Gallei 
called Point < Baffled by head 

winds, the explorers slowl) beat their way up 
the coast. On the 17th of November, tin 

. which the) 
J, i,. I'm.. , tl Bay of Pirn 1 th Ba 

Finding it impos ibl< to laud on 



account of the heavj sea Cabrillo continued hi-- 
northward. Alter reaching a point on 
the coast in 40 degrees north latitude, accord- 
ing to his reckoning, the increasing cold and 
the storms becoming more frequent, he turned 
back and ran down the coast to the island of 
San Miguel, which he reached November 23. 
Here he decided to winter. 

While on the island in October, he had broken 
his arm by a fall. Suffering from his broken 
arm he had continued in command. Exposure 
and unskilful -urger\ caused his death. He 
died January 3. 1543, ami was buried on the 
island. His last resting place is supposed to 
be on the shore of Curler's harbor, on the» 
island of San Miguel. Xo trace of his grave 
has ever been found. His companions named 
the island Juan Rodriguez, but he has been 
rubbed of even this slight tribute to his mem- 
ory. It would be a slight token of regard if 
the state would name the island Cabrillo. Saint 
Miguel has been well remembered in California 
and could spare an island. 

I abrillo on his death bed urged Iris successor 
in command, the pilot Bartolome Ferrolo, to 
continue the exploration. Ferrolo prosecuted 
the voyage of discovery with a courage and dar- 
ing equal to that of Cabrillo. About the middle 
of February he left the harbor where he had 
spent most of the winter and after having made 
a short voyage in search of more islands he 
-ailed up the coast. February 28, he discover d 
a cape which lie named Mendocino in honor of 
the viceroy, a name it -till bears. Passing the 
cape he encountered a fierce storm which drove 
him violently to the northeast, greatl) endanger- 
ing his ships. On March ist, the fog partially 
lifting, he discovered a cape which he named 
Blanco, in the southern part of what i- now the 
-tat' of < iregon. The weather continuing stormj 
and the he sailed northward, 

1 .-nolo reluctantly turned back. Running 
down thi reached the island of San 

nte. There in a storm the ships parted 

company and Ferrolo, after a search, gave up 

the \ 'itoria as lost. The ships, however, came 

.md from there, in 

for provisions, the explorers 

: Xavidad April IS, 1543. Oil the discov- 

eries made by Cabrillo and Ferrolo the Span- 
iards claimed the territory on the Pacific coast 
of North America up to the forty-second degree 
of north latitude, a claim that they maintained 
for three hundred years. 

The next navigator who visited California was 
Francis Drake, an Englishman. He was not 
seeking new lands, but a way to escape the 
\engeance of the Spaniard.-. Francis Drake, 
the "Sea King of Devon," was one of the brav- 
est men that ever lived. Early in his maritime 
life he had suffered from the cruelty and injus- 
tice of the Spaniards. Throughout his subse- 
quent career, which reads more like romance 
than reality, he let no opportunity slip to pun- 
ish his old-time enemies. It mattered little to 
Drake whether his country was at peace or war 
with Spain; he considered a Spanish ship or a 
Spanish town his legitimate prey. On one of 
his predatory expeditions he captured a Spanish 
town on the isthmus of Panama named El Xom- 
bre de Dios, The Name of God. Its holy name 
did not protect it from Drake's rapacity. While 
on the isthmus he obtained information of the 
Spanish settlement.- of the South Pacific and 
from a high point of land saw the South sea, as 
the Pacific ocean was then called. On his re- 
turn to England he announced his intention of 
fitting out a privateering expedition against the 
Spaniards of the South Pacific. Although Spain 
and England were at peace, he received encour- 
agement from the nobility, even Queen Eliza- 
beth herself secretly contributing a thousand 
crown towards the venture. 

Drake sailed out of Plymouth harbor, Eng- 
land, December 13, 1577. in command of a licet 
of live small vessels, bound for the Pacific coasl 
of South America. Some of his' vessel- were 
lost at sea and others turned back, until when 
fn emerged from the Strait- of .Magellan he had 
but one left, the Pelican, lie changed its name 
to the Golden Hind. It was a ship of only one 
hundred ton.-' burden. Sailing up the South 
Pacific coast, he spread terror and devastation 
the Spanish settlements, robbing towns 
and capturing ships until, in the quainl language 
of a chronicler of the expedition, he "had loaded 
hi- \es-el with a fabulous amount of title wares 
ol Asia, precious stones, church ornaments, 



gold plate and so mooch silver as did ballas the 
Goulden Hinde." 

From one treasure ship, the Caca Fuego, he 
obtained thirteen chests of silver, eighty pounds 
weight of gold, twenty-six tons of uncoined sil- 
ver, two silver drinking vessels, precious stones 
and a quantity of jewels; the total value of his 
prize amounted to three hundred ami sixty 
thousand pesos (dollars). Having spoiled the 
Spaniards of treasure amounting to "eight hun- 
dred si.xty-six thousand pesos of silver * 
a hundred thousand pesos of gold * * * 
and other things of great worth, he thought it 
not good to return by the streight (Magellan) 
* * * least the Spaniards should there waite 
and attend for him in great numbers and 
strength, whose hands, he being left but one 
ship, he could not possibly escape." 

Surfeited with spoils and his ship loaded with 
plunder, it became necessary for him to find the 
shortest and safest route home. To return by 
the way he came was to invite certain destruc- 
tion to his ship and death to all on board. At 
an island off the coast of Nicaragua he over- 
hauled and refitted his ship. He determined to 
seek the Straits of Anian that were believed to 
connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Strik- 
ing boldly out on an unknown sea, he sailed 
more than a thousand leagues northward. En- 
countering contrary winds and the cold in- 
creasing as he advanced, he gave up his search 
for the mythical straits, and, turning, he ran 
down the northwest coast of North America to 
latitude 38°, where "hce found a harborrow for 
his ship." He anchored in it June 17, 1579. 
This "convenient and fit harborrow" is under 
the lee of Point Reyes and is now known as 
Sir Francis Drake's Bay. 

Fletcher, the chronicler of Drake's voyage, in 
his narrative, "The World Encompassed," says: 
"The 3rd day following, viz., the 21st, our ship 
having received a leake at sea was brought to 
anchor neerer the shoare that her goods being 
landed she might be repaired; but for that we 
were to prevent any danger that might chance 
against our safety our Generall first of all 
landed his men with necessary provision to build 
tents and make a fort for defense of ourselves 
and goods; and that we might under the shel- 

ter of it with more safety (whatsoever should 
befall) end our business." 

The ship was drawn upon the beach, careened 
on its .side, caulked and refitted. While the 
crew were repairing the ship the natives visited 
them in great numbers. From some of their ac- 
tions Drake inferred that they regarded himself 
and his men as gods. To disabuse them of this 
idea, Drake ordered his chaplain, Fletcher, to 
perform divine service according to the English 
Church Ritual and preach a sermon. The In- 
dians were greatly delighted with the psalm 
singing, but their opinion of Fletcher's sermon 
is not known. 

From certain ceremonial performance Drake 
imagined that the Indians were offering him the 
sovereignty of their land and themselves as sub- 
jects of the English crown. Drake gladly ac- 
cepted their proffered allegiance and formally 
took possession of the country in the name of 
the English sovereign, Queen Elizabeth. He 
named it Xew Albion, "for two causes: the one 
in respect of the while bankes and cliffes which 
ly towardes the sea: and the other because it 
might have some affinitie with our own country 
in name which sometimes was so called." 

Having completed the repairs to his ship. 
Drake made ready to depart, but before leav- 
ing "Our Generall with his company made a 
journey up into the land. The inland we found 
to be farre different from the shoare; a goodly 
country and fruitful soyle, stored with many 
blessings fit for the use of man; infinite was the 
company of very large and fat deere which 
there we saw by thousands as we supposed in a 
heard."* They saw great numbers of small bur- 
rowing animals, which they called conies, but 
which were probably ground squirrels. Before 
departing. Drake set up a monument to shov 
thathe had taken possession of the country. To a 
large post firml) sel in the ground he nailed a 
brass plate on which was engraved the nai 
the English Queen, the date of his arrival and the 
statement thai the king and p< 1 iple 1 if thi 
try had voluntarily b& of the Eng- 

lish crown; a new sixpence was fastened to the 
plate ti 1 shi -.', thi < )u en's likeness. 

World i 



After a sta\ oi thirty-six days, Drake took 
his departure, much to the regret of the Indians. 
He stopped at the Farallones islands for a short 
time to lay in a supply of seal meat; then he 
sailed for England by the v.a\ of the Cape of 
Good Hope. After encountering many perils, 
he arrived safely at Plymouth, the port from 
which he sailed nearly three years before, hav- 
ing "encompassed" or circumnavigated the 
globe. His exploits and the booty he brought 
back made him the most famous naval hero of 
his time. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth 
and accorded extraordinary honors by the na- 
tion. He believed himself to be the first dis- 
coverer of the country he called New Albion. 
"The Spaniards never had any dealings or so 
much as set foote in this country; tire utmost 
of their discoveries reaching only to many de- 
grees southward of this place."* The English 
founded no claim on Drake's discoveries. The 
land hunger that characterizes that nation now 
had not then been developed. 

Fifty years passed after Cabrillo's visit to Cal- 
ifornia before another attempt was made by the 
Spaniards to explore her coast. Through all 
these years on their return voyage far out be- 
yond the islands the Manila galleons, freighted 
with the wealth of "Ormus and Ind," sailed 
down the coast of Las Californias from Cape 
Mendocino to Acapulco. Often storm-tossed 
mil always scourged with that dread malady of 
the sea, the scurvy, there was no harbor of ref- 
uge lor them to put into because his most Cath- 
olic Majesty, the King of Spain, had no money 
to spend in exploring an unknown coast where 
there was no return to be expected except per- 
haps the saving of a few sailors' lives. 

In 1593, the question of a survey of the < 'ali 
fornia coast for harbors to accommodate the in- 
creasing Philippine trade was agitated and Don 
Luis de Vela mo, yiceroj oi New Spain, in a let- 
ter dati d at Mexico, April 8, [593, thus «r tes to 
hi- majest) : "In order to make the exploration 
or demarcation of the harbors of this m 
far as the Philippine islands, as your majesty 
■ rdei , money is lacking, and if it be not taken 
from the royal strong box it cannot be supplied, 

A 1 irld Kncompassed. 

as for some time past a great deal of money has 
been owing to the royal treasury on account 
oi fines forfeited to it, legal cost and the like." 
Don Luis fortunately discovers a way to save 
the contents of the royal strong box and hastens 
10 acquaint his majesty with his plan. In a let- 
ter written to the king from the City of Mexico, 
April 6, 1594, he says: "I ordered the navigator 
who at present sails in the flag ship, who is 
named Sebastian Rodriguez Cermeno, and who 
is a man of experience in his calling, one who 
can be depended upon and who has means of 
his own, although he is a Portuguese, there 
being no Spaniards of his profession whose serv- 
ices are available, that he should make the ex- 
ploration and demarcation, and I offered, if he 
would do this, to give him his remuneration in 
the way of taking on board merchandise; and 
I wrote to the governor (of the Philippines) 
that he should allow him to put on board the 
ship some tons of cloth that he might have the 
benefit of the freight-money." The result of 
Don Luis's economy and the outcome of at- 
tempting to explore an unknown coast in a 
hcavil) iaden merchant ship are given in a para- 
graph taken from a letter written by a royal offi- 
cer from Acapulco, February 1, 1596, to the 
viceroy Conde de Monterey, the successor of 
Yelasco: "On Wednesday, the 31st of January 
of this year, there entered this harbor a vessel 
of the kind called in the Philippines a viroco, 
having on board Juan de Morgana, navigating 
officer, four Spanish sailors, five Indians and a 
negro, who brought tidings that the ship San 
Agustin, of the exploring expedition, had been 
lost on a coast where she struck and went to 
pieces, ami that a barefooted friar and another 
person of those on board had been drowned and 
that the seventy men or more who embarked in 
this small vessel only these came in her, be- 
cause tlte captain of said ship, Sebastian Rodri- 
guez Cermeno, and the others went ashore at 
the port of Xavidad, and, as they understand, 
have already arrived 111 that city (Mexico). An 
accounl oi the voyage and of the loss of the 
ship, together with the statement made under 
oath by said navigating officer, Juan de Mor- 
gana, accompany this. We visited officially the 
vessel, finding 110 kind of merchandise on hoard. 



and that the men were almost naked. The ves- 
sel being so small it seems miraculous that she 
should have reached this country with so many 
people on board." A viroco was a small vessel 
without a deck, having one or two square sails, 
and propelled by sweeps. Its hull was formed 
from a single tree, hollowed out and having the 
sides built up with planks. The San Agustin 
was wrecked in what is now called Francis 
Drake's Bay, about thirty miles north of San 
Francisco. To make a voyage from there to 
Acapulco in such a vessel, with seventy men on 
board, and live to tell the tale, was an exploit 
that exceeded the most hazardous undertakings 
of the Argonauts of '49. 

The viceroy, Conde de Monte Rey, in a let- 
ter dated at Mexico, April 19, 1596, gives the 
king tidings of the loss of the San Agustin. He 
writes: ''Touching the loss of the ship, San 
Agustin, which was on its way from the islands 
of the west (the Philippines) for the purpose of 
making the exploration of the coast of the South 
Sea, in accordance with your Majesty's orders 
to Viceroy, Don Luis de Yelasco, I wrote to 
Your Majesty by the second packet (mailship) 
what I send as duplicate with this." He then 
goes on to tell how he had examined the offi- 
cers in regard to the loss of the vessel and that 
they tried to inculpate one another. The navi- 
gating officer even in the viroco tried to ex- 
plore the principal bays which they crossed, but 
on account of the hunger and illness they expe- 
rienced he was compelled to hasten the voyage. 
The viceroy concludes: "Thus I take it, as to 
this exploration the intention of Your Majesty 
has not been carried into effect. It is the gen- 
eral opinion that this enterprise should not be 
attempted on the return voyage from the islands 
and with a laden ship, but from this coast and 
by constantly following along it." The above 
account of the loss of the San Agustin is taken 
from Volume II, Publications of the Historical 
Society of Southern California, ami is the only 
correct account published. In September, 1595, 
just before the viceroy. Don Luis de Velasco, 
was superseded by Conde de Monte Rey, he 
entered into a contract with certain parties of 
whom Sebastian Viscaino, a ship captain, was 
the principal, to make an expedition up the Gulf 

of California "for the purpose of fishing for 
pearls." There was also a provision in the con- 
tract empowering Viscaino to make explorations 
and take possession of his discoveries for the 
crown of Spain. The Conde de Monte Rey 
seems, from a letter written to the King, to have 
seriously doubted whether Viscaino was the 
right man for so important an expedition, but 
finally allowed him to depart. In September, 
1596, Viscaino sailed up the gulf with a fleet of 
three vessels, the flag ship San Francisco, the 
San Jose and a Lancha. The flag ship was dis- 
abled and left at La Paz. With the other two 
vessels he sailed up the gulf to latitude 29°. He 
encountered severe storms. At some island he 
had trouble with the Indians and killed several. 
As the long boat was departing an Indian 
wounded one of the rowers with an arrow. The 
sailor dropped his oar, the boat careened and 
upset, drowning twenty of the twenty-six sol- 
diers and sailors in it. 

Viscaino returned without having procured 
any pearls or made any important discoveries. 
He proposed to continue his explorations of the 
Californias, but on account of his misfortunes 
his request was held in abeyance. He wrote a 
letter to the king in 1 597, setting forth what 
supplies he required for the voyage. His in- 
ventory of the items needed is interesting, but 
altogether too long for insertion here. Among 
the items were "$35,000 in money"; "eighty ar- 
robas of powder": "twenty quintals of lead"; 
"four pipes of wine for mass and' sick friars"; 
"vestments for the clergy and $2,000 to be in- 
vested in trifles for the Indians for the purpose 
of attracting them peaceably to receive the holy 
gospel." Viscaino's request was not granted at 
that time. The viceroy and the royal audiencia 
at one time ordered his commission revoked. 
Philip II died in 1598 and was succeeded by 
Philip III. After five years' waiting, Yiscaino 
was allowed to proceed with his explorations. 
From Acapulco on the 5th of May. 1602, he 
writes to the king that he is ready to sail with 
his ships "for the discovery of harbors and bays 
of the coast of the South Sea as far as Cape 
Mendocino." "I report," lie says, "merely that 
the said VicerO) (Conde de Monterey) has en- 
trusted to me the accomplishment of the same 


in two ships, a lancha and a barcoluengo, 
manned with sailors and soldiers and provi- 
sioned for eleven months. To-day being Sun- 
day, the 5th of May, I sail at five o'clock m the 
nanus of God and his blessed mother and your 

\ iscaino followed the same course marked 
out by Cabrillo sixty years before. November 
10, 1602, he anchored in Cabrillo's Bay of San 
Miguel. Whether the faulty reckoning of Ca- 
brillo left him in doubt of the points named by 
the first discoverer, or whether it was that he 
might receive the credit of their discovery, Vis- 
caino changed the names given by Cabrillo to 
the islands, bays and headlands along the Cali- 
fornia coast. Cabrillo's Bahia San Miguel be- 
came the Bay of San Diego; San Salvador and 
Yitoria were changed to Santa Catalina and 
San Clemente, and Cabrillo's Bahia de los 
Fumos y Fuegos appears on Yiscaino's map as 
the Ensenada de San Andres, but in a descrip- 
tion of the voyage compiled by the cosmog- 
rapher, Cabrero Bueno, it is named San Pedro. 
It is not named for the Apostle St. Peter, but 
for St. reter, Bishop of Alexandria, whose day 
in the Catholic calendar i.s November 26, the 
day (jf the month Viscaino anchored in the Bay 
of San Pedro. 

Sailing up the coast, Viscaino passed through 
the Santa Barbara channel, which was so named 
by Antonio de la Ascencion, a Carmelite friar, 
who was chaplain of one of the ships. The ex- 
pedition entered the channel December 4, which 
is the day in the Catholic calendar dedicated to 
Santa Barbara. lie visited the mainland near 
Point Concepcion where the Indian chief of a 
populous rancheria offered each Spaniard who 
would become .1 resident of his town ten wives. 
This generous offer was rejected. December 
15, 1602, In reached Point Pinos, so named 1,\ 
Cabrillo, and cast anchor in the ba\ formed by 
its projection. This bay he named Monterey, 
in honoi eroy, Conde de Monte Rev. 

Many if his men were sick with the scurw and 
his provisions were becoming exhausted; so, 
placing the sick and disabled on the San Tomas, 
he sent them b ilco; but few .if them 

1 a< hed th< ii di itination. On the 3d of 
January, 1603, with two ships, he proceeded on 

his search for Cape Mendocino, the northern 
limit of his survey. The Manila galleons on 
their return voyage from the Philippines sailed 
up the Asiatic coast to the latitude of Japan, 
when, taking advantage of the westerly winds 
and the Japan current, they crossed the Pacific, 
striking the North American coast in about the 
latitude of Cape Mendocino, and from there 
they ran down the coast of Las Californias and 
across the gulf to Acapulco. After leaving 
Point Reyes a storm separated his ships and 
drove him as far north as Cape Blanco. The 
smaller vessel, commanded by Martin de Agui- 
lar, was driven north by the storm to latitude 
43 , where he discovered what seemed to be 
the mouth of a great river; attempting to enter 
it, he w r as driven back by the swift current. 
Aguilar. believing he had discovered the western 
entrance of the Straits of Anian, sailed for 
New Spain to report his discovery. He, his 
chief pilot and most of his crew died of scurvy 
before the vessel reached Navidad. Viscaino, 
after sighting Cape Blanco, turned and sailed 
down the coast of California, reaching Acapulco 
March 21, 1603. 

Viscaino, in a letter to the King of Spain, 
dated at the City of Mexico, May 23, 1603, 
grows enthusiastic over California climate and 
productions. It is the earliest known specimen 
of California boom literature. After depicting 
the commodiousness of Monterey Bay as a port 
of safety for the Philippine ships, he says: "This 
port is sheltered from all winds, while on the im- 
mediate shores there arc pines. from which masts 
of any desired size can 1 e obtained, as well as 
live oaks and white oaks, rosemary, the vine, the 
rose of Alexandria, a great variety of game, such 
as rabbits, hare, partridges and other sorts and 
species found in Spain. This land has a genial 
climate, its waters are good and it is fertile, 
judging from the varied and luxuriant growth 
■ if trees and plants; and it is thickly settled with 
people whom I found to be of gentle disposition, 
peaceable and docile. * * * Their food con- 
sists of seeds which they have in great abun- 
dance and variety, and of the flesh of game such 
as deer, which arc larger than cows, and hear, 
ind of neal cattle and bisons ami many other 
animals. The Indians are of good stature and 



fair complexion, the women being somewhat 
less in size than the men, and of pleasing counte- 
nance. The clothing of the people of the coast 
lands consists of the skins of the sea wolves 
(otter) abounding there, which they tan and 
dress better than is done in Castile; they pos- 
sess also in great quantity flax like that of Cas- 
tile, hemp and cotton, from which they make 
fishing lines and nets for rabbits and hares. 
They have vessels of pine wood, very well made, 
in which they go to sea with fourteen paddle- 
men of a side, with great dexterity in very 
stormy weather. * :; ; They are well ac- 
quainted with gold and silver and said that 
these were found in the interior." 

The object of Viscaino's boom literature of 
three hundred years ago was the promotion of a 
colony scheme for the founding of a settlement 
on Monterey Bay. He visited Spain to obtain the 
consent of the king and assistance in planting 
a colony. After many delays, Philip III, in 
1606, ordered the viceroy of New Spain to fit 
out immediately an expedition to be com- 
manded by Viscaino for the occupation and set- 
tlement of the port of Monterey. Before the ex- 
pedition could be gotten ready Viscaino died and 
his colonization scheme died with him. Had he 
lived to carry out his scheme, the settlement of 
California would have antedated that of James- 
town, Ya., bv one year. 



A HUNDRED and sixty years passed after 
the abandonment of Viscaino's coloniza- 
tion scheme before the Spanish crown 
made another attempt to utilize its vast posses- 
sions in Alta California. The Manila galleons 
sailed down the coast year after year for more 
than a century and a half, yet in all this long 
space of time none of them so far as we know 
ever entered a harbor or bay on the upper Cali- 
fornia coast. Spain still held her vast colonial 
possessions in America, but with a loosening 
grasp. As the years went by she had fallen 
from her high estate. Her power on sea and 
land had weakened. Those brave old sea kings, 
Drake, Hawkins and Frobisher, had destroyed 
her invincible Armada and burned her ships in 
her very harbors. The English and Dutch pri- 
vateers had preyed upon her commerce on the 
high seas and the buccaneers had robbed her 
treasure ships and devastated her settlements on 
the islands and the Spanish main, while the free- 
booters of many nations had time and again 
captured her galleons and ravished her colonies 
on the Pacific coast. The energy and enterprise 
that had been a marked characteristic of her 
people in the days of Cortes and Pizarro were 
ebbing away. The cruelty and religious intol- 

erance of her kings, her nobles and her clergy, 
had sapped the bravery of her people. The fear 
hi her Holy Inquisition palsied effort and sub- 
stituted in her people cringing for courage. For 
three centuries the rack and the thumb-screw 
of her Holy Office had never been allowed to 
rust from disuse nor its fires to burn out for 
want of victims. In trying to kill heresy her 
rulers were slowly but surely killing Spain. 
Proscriptive laws and the fear of the inquisition 
had driven into exile the most enterprising and 
the most intelligent classes of her people. Spain 
was decaying with the dry rot of bigotry. ( )ther 
nations stood ready to take advantage of her 
decadence. Her old-time enemy, England, which 
had gained in power as Spain had lost, was ever 
on the alert to take advantage of her weakness; 
and another power, Russia, almost unknown 
among the powers of Europe when Spain was 
in her prime, was threatening her possessions in 
Alta California. To hold this vast country it 
must be colonized, but her restrictions on com- 
merce and her proscriptive laws against foreign 
immigrants had shut the door to her colonial 
possessions againsl colonists from all other na- 
tion Her sparse settlements in Mexico could 
spare no colonists. The indigenous inhabitants 



of California must be converted to Christianity 
and made into citizens. Poor material indeed 
were these degraded savages, but Spain's needs 
were pressing and missionary zeal was powerful. 
Indeed, the pristine courage and daring of the 
Spanish soldier seemed to have passed to her 
missionary priest. 

The Jesuits had begun missionary work in 
160.7 among the degraded inhabitants of Lower 
California. With a perseverance that was highly 
commendable and a bravery that was heroic, 
under their devoted leaders, Salvatierra, Kino, 
I '-arte. Piccolo and their successors, they 
founded sixteen missions on the peninsula. 
Father Kino (or Kuhn), a German Jesuit, be- 
sides his missionary work, between 1694 and 
1702. iiad made explorations around the head 
of the Gulf of California and up the Rio Colo- 
rado to the mouth of the Gila, which had clearly 
demonstrated that Lower California was a pen- 
insula and not an island. Although Ulloa had 
sailed down the inner oast and up the outer 
coasl of Lower California and Domingo del 
Castillo, a Spanish pilot, had made a correct 
map showing it to be a peninsula, so strong was 
the belief in the existence of the Straits of 
Anian that one hundred and sixty year- after 
Ulloa's voyage Las Californias were still be- 
lieved to be islands and were sometimes called 
Lslas Carolinas, or the islands of Charles, named 
so for Charles II. of Spain. Father Kino had 
formed the design of establishing a chain of mis- 
sions from Sonora around the head of the gulf 
and down the inner coast of Lower California to 
ban Lucas, lie did not live to complete 
his ambitious project. The Jesuit missions of 
Baja California never grew rich in Hocks and 
herds. The country was sterile and the few 
small valleys of fertile land around the missions 
gave the padres and the neophytes al best but a 
frugal return for their labors. 

For years there had hem, in the Catholic 
countries of Europe, a -rowing fear and dis- 
trust of the Jesuits. Portugal had declared them 
rnment and had banished 
them in [759 from her dominions. France had 
suppn ' 1 in her domains in 1764. 

In [767, King (.ulos in.. |, x a pragmatic sanc- 
1 red their expulsion from 

Spain and all her American colonies. So great 
and powerful was the influence of the order that 
the decree for their expulsion was kept secret 
until the moment of its execution. Throughout 
all parts of the kingdom, at a certain hour of 
the night, a summons came to every college, 
monastery or other establishment where mem- 
bers of the order dwelt, to assemble by com- 
mand of the king in the chapel or refectory 
immediately. The decree of perpetual banish- 
ment was then read to them. They were hastily 
bundled into vehicles that were awaiting them 
outside and hurried to the nearest seaport, 
where they were shipped to Rome. During 
their journey to the sea-coast they were not al- 
lowed to communicate with their friends nor 
permitted to speak to persons they met on the 
way. By order of the king, any subject who 
should undertake to vindicate the Jesuits in writ- 
ing should be deemed guilty of treason and con- 
demned to death. 

The Lower California missions were too dis- 
tant and too isolated to enforce the king's de- 
cree with the same haste and secrecy that was 
observed in Spain and Mexico. To Governor 
( iaspar de Portola was entrusted the enforce- 
ment of their banishment. These missions were 
transferred to the Franciscans, but it took time 
to make the substitution. He proceeded with 
great caution and care lest the Indians should 
become rebellious and demoralized. It was not 
until February, 1768, that all the Jesuit mis- 
sionaries were assembled at La Paz; from there 
they were sent to Mexico and on the 13th of 
April, at Vera Cruz, they bade farewell to the 
western continent. 

At the head of the Franciscan contingent that 
came to Bahia, Cal., to lake charge of the aban- 
doned missions, was Father Junipero Scrra, a 
man of indomitable will and great missionary 
zeal. Miguel Jose Serra was horn on the island of 

Majoriea in the year 1713. After completing his 
studies in the I.ullian University, at the age of 
eighteen he became a monk and was admitted 
into the order of Franciscans, (hi taking or- 
ders he assumed the name of Junipero (Juniper). 

\.mong the disciples of St. Francis was a very 
zealous and devoted monk who bore the name 
of Junipero, of whom St. Francis once said, 


"Would to God, my brothers, that I had a whole 
forest of such Junipers." Serra's favorite study 
was the "Lives of the Saints," and no doubt the 
study of the life of the original Junipero influ- 
enced him to take that saint's naijie. Serra's 
ambition was to become a missionary, but it was 
not until he was nearly forty years of age that 
his desire was gratified. In 1740. he came to 
Mexico and January 1, 1750, entered the College 
of San Fernando. A few months later he was 
given charge of an Indian mission in the Sierra 
Gorda mountains, where, with his assistant and 
lifelong friend, Father Palou, he remained nine 
years. Under his instructions the Indians were 
taught agriculture and the mission became a 
model establishment of its kind. From this 
mountain mission Serra returned to the city of 
Mexico. He spent seven years in doing mis- 
sionary work among the Spanish population of 
the capital and surrounding country. His suc- 
cess as a preacher and his great missionary zeal 
led to his selection as president of the missions 
of California, from which the Jesuits had been 
removed. April 2, 1768, he arrived in the port of 
Loreto with fifteen associates from the College 
of San Fernando. These were sent to the dif- 
ferent missions of the peninsula. These mis- 
sions extended over a territory seven hundred 
miles in length and it required several months 
to locate all the missionaries. The scheme for 
the occupation and colonization of Alta Cali- 
fornia was to be jointly the work of church and 
state. The representative of the state was Jose 
de Galvez, visitador-general of Xew Spain, a 
man of untiring energy, great executive ability, 
sound business sense and, as such men are and 
ought to be, somewhat arbitrary. Galvez 
reached La Paz in July, 1768. lie immediately 
set about investigating the condition of the 
peninsula missions and supplying their needs. 
This done, he turned his attention to the north- 
ern colonization. He established his headquar- 
ters at Santa Ana near La Faz. Here he sum- 
moned Father Junipero for consultation in 
regard to the founding of missions in Alta Cali- 
fornia. It was decided to proceed to the initial 
points San Diego and Monterey by land and sea. 
Three ships were to be dispatched carrying tin- 
heavier articles, such as agricultural imple- 

ments, church ornaments, and a supply of provi- 
sions for the support of the soldiers and priest 
after their arrival in California. The expedi- 
tion by land was to take along cattle and 
horses to stock the country. This expedition 
was divided into two detachments, the advance 
one under the command of Rivera y Moncada, 
who had been a long time in the country, and 
the second division under Governor Caspar de 
Portola, who was a newcomer. Captain Rivera 
was sent northward to collect from the missions 
ail the live stock and supplies that could be 
spared and take them to Santa Maria, the most 
northern mission of the peninsula. Stores of 
all kinds were collected at La Faz. Father 
Serra made a tour of the missions and secured 
such church furniture, ornaments and vestments 
as could be spared. 

The first vessel fitted out for the expedition 
by sea was the San Cailos, a ship of about 
two hundred tons burden, leaky and badly con- 
structed. She sailed from La Faz January <). 
176(1, under the command of Vicente Vila. In 
addition to the crew there were twenty-five Cat- 
aionian soldiers, commanded by Lieutenant 
Fages, Pedro Prat, the surgeon, a Franciscan 
friar, two blacksmiths, a baker, a cook and two 
tortilla makers. Galvez in a small vessel acc< im- 
panied the San Carlos to Cape San Lucas, where 
he landed and set to work to fit out the San 
Antonio. On the 15th of February this vessel 
sailed from San Jose del Cabo (San Jose of the 
Cape), under the command of Juan Perez, an 
expert pilot, who had been engaged in the Phil- 
ippine trade. On this vessel went two Franciscan 
friars, Juan Yiscaino and Francisco Gomez 
Captain Rivera y Moncada, who was to pioneer 
the way. had collected supplies and cattle at Yel- 
icata on the northern frontier. From here, with 
a small force of soldiers, a gang of neophytes 
and three muleteers, and accompanied l>\ Padre 
Crespi, he began his march to San Diego on the 
_'4th of March, [769. 

The second land expedition, commanded In 
Governor Caspar de Portola in person, began 
its march from Loreto, March 9, 1701,. Father 
Sciia, who was to have accompanied it. was de- 
tained at Loreto b) a sore leg. He joined the 
expedition at Santa Maria. May 5. where it had 



been waiting for him sonic time. It then pro- 
ceeded to Rivera's camp at Velicata, sixty miles 
further north, where Serra founded a mission, 
naming it San Fernando. Campa Coy, a friar 
who had accompanied the expedition tints far, 
was left in charge. This mission was intended 
as a frontier post in the travel between the pen- 
insula missions and the Alta California settle- 
ments. On the 15th of May Portola began his 
northern march, following the trail of Rivera. 
Galvez had named, by proclamation, St. Joseph 
as the patron saint of the California expeditions. 
Santa Maria w^ designated as the patroness of 

The San Antonia, the last vessel to sail, was 
the first to arrive at San Diego. It anchored in 
the bay April 11, 1769; after a prosperous voy- 
age of twenty-four days. There she remained 
at anchor, awaiting the arrival of the San Car- 
los, the ilag ship of the expedition, which had 
sailed more than a month before her. On the 
29th of April the San Carlo,, after a disastrous 
1 of one hundred and ten days, drifted 
into the Hay of San Diego, her crew prostrated 
with the scurvy, not enough able-bodied men 
being left to man a boat. Canvas tents were 
pitched and the afflicted men taken ashore. 
When the disease had run its course nearly all 
of the crew of the San Carlos, half of the sol- 
dier- who had come on her, and nine of the 
sailors of the San Antonio, were dead. 

On the 14th of .May Captain Rivera y Mon- 
cada's detachment arrived. The expedition had 
made the journey from Velicata in fifn one 
days. On the first of July the second division. 
commanded bj Portola, arrived. The journej 
had been uneventful. The four divisions of the 
grand expedition were now united, but its num- 
bers had been greatly reduced. ( >ut of two 
hundred and nineteen who had set out by land 
and sea onl) one hundred and twenty-six re- 
mained; death from scurv} and the desertion of 
the neophytes had reduced the numbers nearly 
one-half. Thi the scurv) had de- 

the en w of one of the vessels and 
greatly crippled that of ibe other, so it was im- 
possible to pri ' to Monterey, the 

tive point of the expedition. A 
council of the officers was held and it was de- 

cided to send the San Antonia back to San Bias 
for supplies and sailors to man the San Carlos. 
The San Antonia sailed on the 9th of July and 
after a voyage of twenty days reached her des- 
tination; but short as the voyage was, half of 
the crew died of the scurvy on the passage. In 
early American navigation the scurvy was the 
most dreaded scourge of the sea, more to be 
feared than storm and shipwreck. These might 
happen occasionally, but the scurvy always made 
its appearance on long voyages, and sometimes 
destroyed the whole ship's crew. Its appearance 
and ravages were largely due to the neglect of 
sanitary precautions and to the utter indiffer- 
c-nce of those in authority to provide for the 
comfort and health of the sailors. The interces- 
sion of the saints, novenas, fasts and penance 
were relied upon to protect and save the vessel 
and her crew, while the simplest sanitary meas- 
ures were utterly disregarded. A blind, unrea- 
soning faith that was always seeking interposi- 
tion from some power without to preserve and 
ignoring the power within, was the bane and 
curse of that age of superstition. 

If the mandates of King Carlos III. and the 
instructions of the visitador-general, Jose de 
Galvez, were to be carried out, the expedition 
for the settlement of the second point designated 
(Monterey) must be made by land: accordingly 
Governor Fortola set about organizing his 
forces for the overland journey. On the 14th 
of July the expedition began its march. It con- 
sisted of Governor Tortola. Padres Crespi and 
Gomez, Captain Rivera y Moncada, Lieutenant 
Pedro 1 ages. Engineer Miguel Constanso. sol- 
diers, muleteers and Indian servants, number- 
ing in all sixty-two pers. ins. 

On the 16th of Jul}", two days after th< de- 
parture of Governor Portola, Father Junipero, 
assisted by Padres \ iscaino and Parron, founded 
the mission of San Diego. The site selected 
was in what is now ( lid Town, near the tempo- 
rary presidio, which had been hastily con- 
structed before the departure of Governor Tor- 
tola. A hut of boughs had been constructed 
and in this the ceremonies of founding were 
held. The Indians, while interested in what was 
going on, manifested no desire to be converted. 
They were willing to receive gifts, particularly 



of cloth, but would not taste the food of the 
Spaniards, fearing that it contained poison and 
attributing the many deaths among the soldiers 
and sailors to the food. The Indians had a great 
liking for pieces of cloth, and their desire to 
obtain this led to an attack upon the people of 
the mission. On the 14th of August, taking 
advantage of the absence of Padre Parron and 
two soldiers, they broke into the mission and 
began robbing it and the beds of the sick. The 
four soldiers, a carpenter and a blacksmith ral- 
lied to the defense, and after several of their 
numbers had fallen by the guns of the soldiers, 
the Indians fled. A boy servant of the padres 
was killed and Father Yiscaino wounded in the 
hand. After this the Indians were more cau- 

We now return to the march of Portola's ex- 
pedition. As the first exploration of the main 
land of California was made by it, I give con- 
siderable space to the incidents of the journey. 
Crespi, Constanso and Fages kept journals of 
the march. I quote from those of Constanso 
and Crespi. Lieutenant Constanso thus de- 
scribes the order of the march. "The setting- 
forth was on the 14th day of June* of the cited 
year of '69. The two divisions of the expedition 
by land marched in one, the commander so ar- 
ranging because the number of horse-herd and 
packs was much, since of provisions and victuals 
alone they carried one hundred packs, which he 
estimated to be necessary t'o ration all the folk 
during six months; thus providing against a 
delay of the packets, altho' it was held to be 
impossible that in this interval some one of 
them should fail to arrive at Monterey. On 
the marches the following order was observed: 
At the head went the commandant with the offi- 
cers, the six men of the Catalonia volunteers, 
who added themselves at San Diego, and some 
friendly Indians, with spades, mattocks, crow- 
bars, axes and other implements of pioneers, to 
chop and open a passage whenever necessary. 
After them followed the pack-train, divided into 
four bands with the muleteers and a competent 
number of garrison soldiers for their escort with 
each band. In the rear guard with the rest of 

♦Evidently an error; it should be July 14th. 

the troops and friendly Indians came the cap- 
tain, Don Fernando Rivera, convoying the 
horse-herd and the- mule herd for relays." 
* * * 

"It must be well considered that the marches 
of these troops with such a train and with such 
embarrassments thro' unknown lands and un- 
used paths could not be long ones ; leaving aside 
the other causes which obliged them to halt 
and camp early in the afternoon, that is to say, 
the necessity of exploring the land one day for 
the next, so as to regulate them (the marches) 
according to the distance of the watering-places 
and to take in consequence the proper precau- 
tions; setting forth again on special occasions 
in the evening, after having given water to the 
1, easts in that same hour upon the sure informa- 
tion that in the following stretch there was no 
water or that the watering place was low, or the 
pasture scarce. The restings were measured by 
the necessity, every four days, more or less, 
according to the extraordinary fatigue occa- 
sioned by the greater roughness of the road, 
tlie toil of the pioneers, or the wandering off of 
the beasts which were missing from the horse 
herd and which it was necessary to seek by their 
tracks. At other times, by the necessity of 
humoring the sick, when there were any, and 
with time there were many who yielded up their 
strength to the continued fatigue, the excessive 
heat and cruel cold. In the form and according 
to the method related the Spaniard- executed 
their marches; traversing immense lands more 
fertile and more pleasing in proportion as they 
penetrated more to the north. Al! in general are- 
peopled with a multitude of Indians, who came 
out to meet them and in some parts accompa- 
nied them from one sta^c of the journey to the 
next; a folk very docile and tractable chiefly 
from San Diego onward." 

Constanso's description of the Indians of 
Santa Barbara will be found in the chapter on the 
"Aborigines of California." "From the chan- 
nel of Santa Barbara onward the lands arc not 
so populous nor the Indian- so industrious, but 
they are equally affable and tractable. The 
Spaniards pursued their voyage without opposi 
tion up to the Sierra ol Santa Lucia, which they 
contrived to cross with much hardship. At the 



loot of said Sierra on the north side is to be 
found the port of .Monterey, according to an- 
cient reports, between the Point of Pines and 
that of Aiio Nuevo (New Year). The Spaniards 
caught sight of said points on the ist of October 
of the year '69, and, believing they had arrived 
al the end of their voyage, the commandant sent 
the scouts forward to reconnoitre the Point of 
Pines; in whose near vicinity lies said Port in 

36 degrees and 40 minutes North Latitude. But 
the scant tokens and equivocal ones which are 
given of it by the Pilot Cabrera Bueno, the only 
clue of this voyage, and the character of this 
Port, which rather merits the name of Bay, 
being spacious (in likeness to that of Cadiz), 
not corresponding with ideas which it is natural 
to form in reading the log of the aforemen- 
tioned Cabrera Bueno, nor with the latitude of 

37 degrees in which he located it, the scouts were 
persuaded that the Port must be farther to the 
north and they returned to the camp which our 
people occupied with the report that what they 
sought was not to be seen in those parts." 

They decided that the Port was still further 
north and resumed their march. Seventeen of 
their number were sick with the scurvy, some of 
whom, Constanso says, seemed to be in their 
last extremity; these had to be carried in lit- 
ters. To add to their miseries, the rains began 
in the latter part of October, and with them 
came an epidemic of diarrhea, "which spread to 
all without exception; and it came to be feared 
that this sickness which prostrated their powers 
and left the persons spiritless, would finish with 
the expedition altogether. Put it turned out 
quite to the contrary." Those afflicted with the 
scurvy began to mend and in a short time they 
were rest iredto health, Constanso thus describes 
the discovery of the Bay of San Francisco: 
"The lasl 1 of ictoberthe Expedition by land 
came in sight of Punta de Los Reyes and the 
Farallones of the Port of San Francisco, whose 
landmarks, compared with those related by 
! 'ill 1 l 1I1: era Bueno, were found 
Thereupon it became of evident knowl- 
hai thi Porl of Mi mterej had been left 
behind; there being few who stuck to the 
-> opinion. Nevertheless the comman 
ilant resolved to send to reconnoitre the 

land as far as Point de los Reyes. The scouts 
who were commissioned for this purpose found 
themselves obstructed by immense estuaries, 
which run extraordinarily far back into the land 
and were obliged to make great detours to get 
around the heads of these. * * Having 

arrived at the end of the first estuary and recon- 
noitered the laud that would have to be followed 
to arrive at the Point de Los Reyes, interrupted 
with new estuaries, scant pasturage and fire- 
wood and having recognized, besides this, the 
uncertainty of the news and the misapprehen- 
sion the scouts had labored under, the com- 
mandant, with the advice of his officers, resolved 
upon a retreat to the Point of Pines in hopes of 
finding the Port of Monterey and encountering 
in it the Packet San Jose or the San Antonia, 
whose succor already was necessary; since of 
the provisions which had been taken in San 
Diego no more remained than some few sacks of 
Hour of which a short ration was issued to each 
individual daily." 

"< In the eleventh day of November was put 
into execution the retreat in search of Mon- 
terey. The Spaniards reached said port and 
the Point of Pines on the 28th of Novem- 
ber. They maintained themselves in this place 
until the 10th of December without any ves- 
sel having appeared in this time. For which 
reason and noting also a lack of victuals, and 
that the sierra of Santa Lucia was covering 
itself with snow, the commandant, Don Caspar 
de Portola, saw himself obliged to decide to 
continue the retreat unto San Diego, leaving 
it until a better occasion to return to the enter- 
prise. On this retreat the Spaniards experi- 
enced some hardships and necessities, because 
they entirely lacked provisions, and because the 
long marches, which necessity obliged to make 
to reach San Diego, gave no time for seeking 
sustenance by the chase, nor did game abound 
equallj everywhere. At this juncture they killed 
twelve mules of the pack-train on whose meat 
the folk nourished themselves unto San Diego, 
at which new establishment they arrived, all in 
health, on the 24th of January, 1770." 

The San Jose, the third ship fitted out by 
Visitador-General Galvez, and which Governor 
Portola expected to find in the Bay of Monte- 



rey, sailed from San Jose del Cabo in May, 
1770, with supplies and a double crew to sup- 
ply the loss of sailors on the other vessels, but 
nothing was ever heard of her afterwards. Pro- 
visions were running low at San Diego, no ship 
had arrived, and Governor Portola had decided 
to abandon the place and return to Loreto. 
Father Junipero was averse to this and prayed 
unceasingly for the intercession of Saint Joseph, 
the patron of the expedition. A novena or nine 
days' public prayer was instituted to terminate 
with a grand ceremonial on March 19th, which 
was the saint's own day. But on the 23rd of 
March, when all were ready to depart, the 
packet San Antonia arrived. She had sailed 
from San Bias the 20th of December. She en- 
countered a storm which drove her four hun- 
dred leagues from the coast; then she made 
iand in 35 degrees north latitude. Turning her 
prow southward, she ran down to Point Concep- 
cion, where at an anchorage in the Santa Bar- 
bara channel the captain, Perez, took on water 
and learned from the Indians of the return of 
Portola's expedition. The vessel then ran down 
to San Diego, where its opportune arrival 
prevented the abandonment of that settle- 

With an abundant supply of provisions and a 
vessel to carry the heavier articles needed in 
forming a settlement at Monterey, Portola or- 
ganized a second expedition. This time he took 
with him only twenty soldiers and one officer, 
Lieutenant Pedro Fages. He set out from San 
Diego on the 17th of April and followed his trail 
made the previous year. Father Serra and the 
engineer, Constanso, sailed on the San Antonia, 
which left the port of San Diego on the 16th of 
April. The land expedition reached Monterey 
on the 23d of May and the San Antonia on the 
31st of the same month. On the 3d of June, 
1770, the mission of San Carlos Borromeo de 
Monterey was formally founded with solemn 
church ceremonies, accompanied by the ringing 
of bells, the crack of musketry and the roar of 
cannon. Father Serra conducted the church 
services. Governor Portola took possession of 
the land in the name of King Carlos III. A 
presidio or fort of palisades was built and a few 
huts erected. Portola, having formed the nu- 
cleus of a settlement, turned over the command 
of the territory to Lieutenant Fages. On the 
9th of July, 1770, he sailed on the San Antonia 
for San Bias. He never returned to Alta Cali- 



WHETHER the primitive California In- 
dian was the low and degraded being 
that some modern writers represent 
him to have been, admits of doubt. A mis- 
sion training continued through three gen- 
erations did not elevate him in morals at least. 
When freed from mission restraint and brought 
in contact with the white race he lapsed into a 
condition more degraded and more debased than 
that in which the missionaries found him. 
Whether it was the inherent fault of the Indian 
or the fault of his training is a question that is 
useless to discuss now. If we are to believe the 
accounts of the California Indian given by Vis- 
caino and Constanso, who saw him before he 

had come in contact with civilization he was not 
inferior in intelligence to the nomad aborigines 
of the country east of the Rocky mountains. 

Sebastian Viscafno thus describes the In- 
dians he found on the shores of Monterey Bay 
three hundred years ago: 

"The Indians are of good stature and fair 
complexion, the women being somewhat less in 
size than the men and of pleasing countenance. 
The clothing of the people of the coast lands 
consists of the skins of the sea-wolves (otter) 
abounding there, which they tan and dress bet- 
ter than is done in Castile; they possess also, 
in great quantity, flax like thai of Castile, hemp 
and cotton, from which they make fishing-lines 


- for rabbits and hares. They have ves- 
pine wood very well made, in which they 
go to sea with fourteen paddle men on a side 
with great dexterity, even in stormy weather." 
Indians who could construct boats of pine 
boards that took twenty-eight paddle men to 
row were certainly superior in maritime craft 
to the birch bark canoe savages of the east. 
We might accuse Yiscaino, who was trying to 
induce King Philip III. to found a colony on 
Monterey Bay, of exaggeration in regard to 
the Indian boats were not his statements con- 
firmed by the engineer, Miguel Constansc'>, who 
accompanied Portola's expedition one hundred 
and sixty-seven years after Yiscaino visited the 
coast. Constanso, writing of the Indians of the 
Santa Barbara Channel, says, "The dexterity 
and skill of these Indians is surpassing in the 
construction of their launches made of pine 
planking. They are from eight to ten varas 
(twenty-three to twenty-eight feet) in length, 
including their rake and a vara and a half (four 
feet three inches) beam. Into their fabric enters 
no iron whatever, of the use of which they know 
little. But the) fasten the boards with firmness, 
one to another, working their drills just so far 
apart and at a distance of an inch from the edge, 
the holes in the upper boards corresponding 
with those in the lower, and through these holes 
they pass strong lashings of deer sinews. They 
pitch and calk the seams, and paint the whole 
in sightly colors. They handle the boats with 
equal cleverness, and three or four men go out 
to sea to fish in them, though they have capacity 
to carry eight or ten. They use long oars with 
two blade- and row with unspeakable lightness 
and velocity. The) know all the arts of fishing, 
and fish abound along their coasts as has bet n 
["he; have communication 
and commerce with the native- of the islands, 
whence they gel tin '■• ol coral which are 

current in pla through these lands, 

although they hold in more esteem the glass 
which the Spaniards gave them, and of- 
fered in exchange for these whatever the) had 
like trays, otter skins, baskets and wooden 
* * 

"They are likewise great hunters. To kill 
dee: and antelope they avail themselves of an 

admirable ingenuity. They preserve the hide 
of the head and part of the neck of some one 
of these animals, skinned with care and leaving 
the horns attached to the same hide, which they 
stuff with grass or straw to keep its shape. 
They put this said shell like a cap upon the head 
and go forth to the woods with this rare equip- 
age. On sighting the deer or antelope they go 
dragging themselves along the ground little by 
little with the left hand. In the right they carry 
the bow and four arrows. They lower and raise 
the head, moving it to one side and the other, 
and making other demonstration:, so like these 
animals that they attract them without difficulty 
to the snare; and having them within a short 
distance, they discharge their arrows at them 
with certainty of hitting." 

In the two chief occupations of the savage, 
hunting and fishing, the Indians of the Santa 
Barbara Channel seem to have been the equals 
if not the superiors of their eastern brethren. 
In the art of war they were inferior. Their 
easy conquest by the Spaniards and their tame 
subjection to mission rule no doubt had much 
to do with giving them a reputation for infe- 

The Indians of the interior valleys and those 
of the coast belonged to the same general fam- 
ily. There were no great tribal divisions like 
those that existed among the Indians east of the 
Rocky mountains. Each rancheria was to a 
certain extent independent of all others, al- 
though at times they were known to combine 
for war or plunder. Although not warlike, they 
sometimes resisted the whites in battle with 
great bravery. Each village had its own terri- 
tory in which to hunt and fish and its own sec- 
tion in which to gather nuts, seeds and herbs. 
While their mode of living was somewhat no- 
madic the) seem to have had a fixed location for 
their rancherias. 

The early Spanish settlers of California and 
the mission padres have left but very meager 
accounts of the manners, customs, traditions, 
government and religion of the aborigines. The 
pa Ires were too intent upon driving out the old 
religious beliefs of the Indian and instilling new 
lines to care much what the aborigine had for- 
merly believed or what traditions or myths he 



had inherited from his ancestors. They ruth- 
lessly destroyed his fetiches and his altars 
wherever they found them, regarding them as 
inventions of the devil. 

The best account that has come down to us 
of the primitive life of the Southern California 
aborigines is found in a series of letters written 
by Hugo Rcid and published in the Los An- 
geles Star in 1851-52. Reid was an educated 
Scotchman, who came to Los Angeles in 1834. 
He married an Indian woman. Dona Victoria, a 
neophyte of the San Gabriel mission. She was 
the daughter of an Indian chief. It is said that 
Reid had been crossed in love by some high 
toned Spanish seriorita and married the Indian 
woman because she had the same name as his 
lost love. It is generally believed that Reid was 
the putative father of Helen Hunt Jackson's 
heroine, Ramona. 

From these letters, now in the possession of 
the Historical Society of Southern California, 
I briefly collate some of the leading character- 
istics of the Southern Indians: 


"Before the Indians belonging to the greater 
part of this country were known to the whiles 
they comprised, as it were, one great family 
under distinct chiefs; they spoke nearly the same 
language, with the exception of a few words, 
and were more to be distinguished by a local 
intonation of the voice than anything else. Be- 
ing related by blood and marriage war was 
never carried on between them. When war was 
consequently waged against neighboring tribes 
of no affinity it was a common cause.*' 

"Die government of the people was invested 
in the hands of their chiefs, each captain com- 
manding his own lodge. The command was 
hereditary in a family. If the right line of de- 
scent ran out they elected one of the same kin 
nearest in blood. Laws in general were made 
as required, with some few standing ones. Rob- 
bery was never known among them. Murder 
was of rare occurrence and punished with death. 
Incest was likewise punished with death, being 
held in such abhorrence that marriages between 
kinsfolk were not allowed. The manner of put- 
ting to death was by shooting the delinquent 

with arrows. If a quarrel ensued between two 
parties the chief of the lodge took cognizance 
111 the case and decided according to the testi- 
mony produced. But if a quarrel occurred 
between parties of distinct lodges, each chief 
heard the witnesses produced by his own people, 
and then, associated with the chief of the oppo- 
site side, they passed sentence. In case the) 
could not agree an impartial chief was called in, 
who heard the statements made by both ami lie 
alone decided. There was no appeal from his de- 
cision. Whipping was never resorted to as a 
punishment. All fines and sentences consisted in 
delivering shells, money, food and skins." 

"They believed in one God, the Maker and 
Creator of all things, whose name was and is 
held so sacred among them as hardly ever to be 
used, and when used only in a low voice. That 
name is Oua-o-ar. When they have to use the 
name of the supreme being on an ordinary oc- 
casion they substitute in its stead the word 
V-yo-ha-rory-nain or the Giver of Life. They 
have only one word in designate life and 
si ml." 

"The world was at one time in a state of chaos, 
until God gave it its present formation, fixing 
it on the shoulders of seven giants, made ex- 
pressly for this end. They have their names, 
and when they move themselves an earthquake 
is the consequence. Animals were then formed, 
and lastly man and woman were formed, separ- 
ately from earth and ordered to live together. 
The man's name was Tobahar and the woman's 
Probavit. God ascended to Heaven immediately 
afterward, where he receives the souls of all who 
die. They had no bad spirits connected with 
their creed, and never heard of a 'devil' or a 
'hell' until the coming of the Spaniards. They 
believed in 110 resurrection whatever" 

"Chiefs had one. two or three wives, as their 
inclination dictated, the subjects onl) one. When 
a person wished to marry and had -el 
suitable partner, lie advertised the same to all 
his relatives, even to the nineteenth cousin ' m 
a day appointed the male portion of the lodge 


brought in a collection of money heads. All the 
relations having come in with their share, 
the) (the males) proceeded in a body to the resi- 
dence of the bride, to whom timely notice had 
been given. All of the bride's female relations 
had been assembled and the money was equally 
divided among them, the bride receiving noth- 
ing, as it was a sort of purchase. After a few 
davs the bride's female relations returned the 
compliment by taking to the bridegroom's 
dwelling baskets of meal made of chia, which 
was distributed among the male relatives. These 
preliminaries over, a day was fixed for the cere- 
mony, which consisted in decking out the bride 
in innumerable strings of beads, paint, feathers 
and skins. ( )n being ready she was taken up 
in the arms of one of her strongest male rela- 
tives Alio carried her. dancing, towards her 
lover's habitation. All of her family, friends and 
neighbors accompanied, dancing around, throw- 
ing food and edible seeds at her feet at every 
step. These were collected in a scramble by the 
spectators as best they could. The relations 
of the bridegroom met them half way. and, tak- 
ing the bride, carried her themselves, joining in 
the ceremonious walking dance. ( )n arriving at 
the bridegroom's (who was sitting within his 
hut) she was inducted into her new residence by 
being placed alongside of her husband, while 
baskets of seeds were liberally emptied on their 
heads to denote blessings and plenty. This was 
likewise scrambled for by the spectators, who, 
on gathering up all the bride's seed cake, de- 
parted, leaving them to enjoy their honeymoon 
according to usage. A -rand dance was given 
on the occasion, the warriors doing the danc- 
ing, the young women doing the singing. The 
wife never visited her relatives from that day 
forth, although they were at liberty to visit her." 

"When a person died all the kin collected to 
mourn his or her loss. Each one had his own 
peculiar mode of crying or howling, as easil) dis 
tinguished the one from the other as one song 
is from another. After lamenting awhile a 
mourning dirge was sung in a low whining tone. 
panied by a shrill whistle produced by 
blowing into the tube of a deer's leg hone. 

Dancing can hardly be said to have formed a 
part of the rites, as it was merely a monotonous 
action of the foot on the ground. This was con- 
tinued alternately until the body showed signs 
of decay, when it was wrapped in the covering 
used in life. The hands were crossed upon the 
breast and the body tied from head to foot. A 
grave having been dug in their burial ground, 
the body was deposited with seeds, etc., accord- 
ing to the means of the family. If the deceased 
were the head of the family or a favorite son, 
the hut in which he lived was burned up, as 
likewise were all his personal effects." 


"Animosity between persons or families was 
of long duration, particularly between those of 
different tribes. These feuds descended from 
father to son until it was impossible to tell of 
how many generations. They were, however, 
harmless in themselves, living merely a war of 
songs, composed and sung against the conflict- 
ing party, and they were all of the most obscene 
and indecent language imaginable. There are 
two families at this day (1851) whose feud com- 
menced before the Spaniards were ever dreamed 
of and they still continue singing and dancing 
against each other. The one resides at the mis- 
sion of San Gabriel and the other at San Juan 
Capistrano; they both lived at San Bernardino 
when the quarrel commenced. During the sing- 
ing they continue stamping on the ground to 
express the pleasure they would derive from 
tramping on the graves of their foes. Eight days 
was the duration of the song fight." 


"From the bark of nettles was manufactured 
thread for nets, fishing lines, etc. Needles, fish- 
hooks, awls and many other articles were made 
of either hone or shell; for cutting up meat a 
knife of cane was invariably used. Mortars and 
pestles were made of granite. Sharp stones and 
perseverance were the only things used in their 
manufacture, and so skillfully did they combine 
the two that their work was always remarkably 
uniform. Their pots 1,, cook in were made of 
soapstone of about an inch in thickness and 
procured from the Indians of Santa Catalina. 


Their baskets, made out of a certain species of 
rush, were used only for dry purposes, although 
they were water proof. The vessels in use for 
liquids were roughly made of rushes and plas- 
tered outside and in with bitumen or pitch." 


Miguel Constanso, the engineer who accom- 
panied Portola's expedition in 1769, gives us the 
best description of the Santa Barbara Indians 

"The Indians in whom was recognized more 
vivacity and industry are those that inhabit the 
islands and the coast of the Santa Barbara 
channel. They live in pueblos (villages) whose 
houses are of spherical form in the fashion of a 
half orange covered with rushes. They are up 
to twenty varas (fifty-five feet) in diameter. Each 
house contains three or four families. The 
hearth is in the middle and in the top of the 
house they leave a vent or chimney to give exit 
for the smoke. In nothing did these gentiles 
give the lie to the affability and good treatment 
which were experienced at their hands in other 
times (1602) by the Spaniards who landed upon 
those coasts with General Sebastian Vizcayno. 
They are men and women of good figure and as- 
pect, very much given to painting and staining 
their faces and bodies with red ochre. 

"They use great head dresses of feathers and 
some panderellas (small darts) which they bind 
up amid their hair with various trinkets and 
beads of coral of various colors. The men go 
entirely naked, but in time of cold they sport 
some long capes of tanned skins of nutrias (ot- 
ters) and some mantles made of the same skins 
cut in long strips, which they twist in such a 
manner that all the fur remains outside: then 
they weave these strands one with another, 
forming a weft, and give it the pattern referred 

"The women go with more decency, girt 
about the waist with tanned skins of deer which 
cover them in front and behind more than half 
down the leg, and with a mantelet of nutria over 
the body. There are some of them with good 
features. These are the Indian women win. 
make the trays and vases of rushes, to which 
they give a thousand different forms and grace- 

ful patterns, according to the uses to which they 
are destined, whether it be for eating, drinking, 
guarding their seeds, or for other purposes; for 
these peoples do not know the use of earthen 
ware as those of San Diego use it. 

"The men work handsome trays of wood, with 
finer inlays of coral or of bone: and some vases 
of much capacity, closing at the mouth, which 
appear to be made with a lathe — and with this 
machine they would not come out better hol- 
lowed nor of more perfect form. They give, the 
whole a luster which appears the finished handi- 
work of a skilled artisan. The large vessels 
which hold water are of a very strong weave of 
rushes pitched within: and they give them the 
same form as our water jars. 

"To eat the seeds which they use in place of 
bread they toast them first in great trays, put- 
ting among the seeds some pebbles or small 
stones heated until red: then they move and 
shake the tray so it may not burn ; and getting 
the seed sufficiently toasted they grind it in mor- 
tars or almireses of stone. Some of these mor- 
tars were of extraordinary size, as well wrought 
as if they had had for the purpose the best steel 
tools. The constancy, attention to trifles, and 
labor which they employ in finishing these pieces 
are well worth}- of admiration. The mortars are 
so appreciated among themselves that for those 
who, dying, leave behind such handiworks, they 
are wont to place them over the spot where they 
are buried, that the memory of their skill and 
application may not be lost. 

"They inter their dead. They have their cem- 
eteries within the very pueblo. The funerals of 
their captains they make with great pump, and 
set up over their bodies some rods or poles, ex- 
tremely tall, from which they hang a variety of 
utensils and chattels which were used by them. 
They likewise put in the same place some great 
planks of pine, with various paintings and fig- 
ures in which without doubt they explain the 
exploits and prowesses of the personage. 

"Plurality of wives is not lawful among these 
peoples. Only the captains have a right t" 
marry two. In all their pueblos the attention 
was taken by a species of men who lived like the 
women, kept company with them, dressed in the 
same garb, adonted themselves with bead-, pen- 



dants, necklaces and other womanish adorn- 
ments, and enjoyed great consideration among 
the people. The lack ot an interpreter did not 
permit us to find out what class of men they 
were, or to what ministry they were destined, 
though all suspect a defect in sex, or some 
abuse among those gentiles. 

"In their houses the married couples have 
their separate beds on platforms elevated from 
the ground. Their mattresses arc some simple 
petates (mats) of rushes and their pillows are 
of the same petates roiled up at the head of the 
bed. Ail these beds are hung about with like 
mats, which serve for decency and protect from 
the cold." 

From the descriptions given by Yiscaino and 
Constanso of the coast Indians they do not ap- 
pear to have been the degraded creatures that 
some modern writers have pictured them. In 
mechanical ingenuity they were superior to the 
Indians of the Atlantic seaboard or those of the 
Mississippi valley. Much of the credit that has 
been given to the mission padres for the patient 
training they gave the Indians in mechanical 
arts should be given to the Indian himself. He 
was no mean mechanic when the padre- took 
him in hand. 

Bancroft says "the Northern California In- 
dians were in every way superior to the central 
and southern tribes." The difference was more 
in climate than in race. Those of Northern Cal- 
ifornia living in an invigorating climate were 
more active and more warlike than their 
sluggish brethren of the south. They gained 
their living by hunting larger game than 
tlio-c i if the south whose subsistence was derived 
from acorns, seeds, small game and fish. 
Those of the interior valleys of the north were 
of ligln< r ' i mple ii in and had better forms and 
features than their southern kinsmen. They 
divided into numerous small tribes or 
clans, like those of central and Southern Cali- 
i irnia. Tin Spaniards never penetrated very 
far into the Indian country of the north and 
quently know little or nothing about the 
and customs of the aborigines there. 
the discover) of gold the miner- invaded 
their country in search of the precious metal. 
The Indians at first were not hostile, but ill 

treatment soon made them so. When they re- 
taliated on the whites a war of extermination 
was waged against them. Like the mission In- 
dians of the south they are almost extinct. 

All of the coast Indians seem to have had 
some idea of a supreme being. The name dif- 
fered with the different tribes. According to 
Hugo Reid the god of the San Gabriel Indian 
was named Ouaoar. Father Boscana, who 
wrote "A Historical Account of the Origin, 
Customs and Traditions of the Indians" at the 
missionary establishment of San Juan Capis- 
trano, published in Alfred Robinson's "Life in 
California," gives a lengthy account of the relig- 
ion of those Indians before their conversion to 
Christianity. Their god was Chinigchinich. Evi- 
dently the three old men from whom Boscana 
derived his information mixed some of the 
religious teachings of the padres with their 
own primitive beliefs, and made up for the father 
a nondescript religion half heathen and half 
Christian. Boscana was greatly pleased to find 
so many allusions to Scriptural truths, evidently 
never suspecting that the Indians were imposing 
upon him. 

The religious belief of the Santa Barbara 
Channel Indians appears to have been the most 
rational of any of the beliefs held by the Cali- 
fornia aborigines. Their god, Chupu, was the 
deification of good; and Nunaxus, their Satan, 
the personification of evil. Chuputhe all-powerful 
created Nunaxus, who rebelled against his cre- 
ator and tried to overthrow him; but Chupu, the 
almighty, punished him by creating man who, by 
devouring the animal and vegetable products of 
the earth, checked the physical growth of 
Nunaxus, who had hoped by liberal feeding to 
become like unto a mountain. Foiled in his am- 
bition, Nunaxus ever afterwards sought to in- 
jure mankind. To secure Chupu's protection, 
offerings were made to him and dances were 
instituted in his honor. Mutes and other in- 
struments were played to attract his attention. 
When Nunaxus brought calamity upon the In- 
dians in the shape of dry years, which caused a 
dearth of animal and vegetable products, or sent 
- to afllicl them, their old men interceded 
with Chupu to protect them: and to exorcise 
their Satan they shot arrows and threw 


stones in the direction in which he was sup- 
posed to be. 

Of the Indian myths and traditions Hugo 
Reid says: "They were of incredible length 
and contained more metamorphoses than Ovid 
could have engendered in his brain had he lived 
a thousand years." 

The Cahuilla tribes who formerly inhabited 
the mountain districts of the southeastern part 
of the state had a tradition of their creation. Ac- 
cording to this tradition the primeval Adam and 
Eve were created by the Supreme Being in the 
waters of a northern sea. They came up out 
of the water upon the land, which they found to 
be soft and miry. They traveled southward for 
many moons in search of land suitable for their 
residence and where they could obtain susten- 
ance from the earth. This they found at last on 
the mountain sides in Southern California. 

Some of the Indian myths when divested of 
their crudities and ideas clothed in fitting 
language are as poetical as those of Greece or 
Scandinavia. The following one which Hugo 
Reid found among the San Gabriel Indians 
bears a striking resemblance to the Grecian 
myths of Orpheus and Eurydice but it is not at 
all probable that the Indians ever heard the 
Grecian fable. Ages ago, so runs this Indian 
myth, a powerful people dwelt on the banks of 
the Arroyo Seco and hunted over the hills and 
plains of what are now our modern Pasadena 
and the valley of San Fernando. They com- 
mitted a grievous crime against the Great Spirit. 
A pestilence destroyed them all save a boy and 
girl who were saved by a foster mother pos- 
sessed of supernatural powers. They grew to 
manhood and womanhood and became husband 
and wife. Their devotion to each other angered 
the foster mother, who fancied herself neglected. 
She plotted to destroy the wife. The young 
woman, divining her fate, told her husband that 
should he at any time feel a tear drop on his 
shoulder, he might know that she was dead. 
While he was away hunting the dread signal 
came. He hastened back to destroy the hag who 
had brought death to his wife, but the sorceress 
had escaped. Disconsolate he threw himself on 
the grave of his wife. For three days he neither 
ate nor drank. On the third day a whirlwind 

arose from the grave and moved toward the 
south. Perceiving in it the form of his wife, he 
hastened on until he overtook it. Then a voice 
came out of the cloud saying: "Whither I go, 
thou canst not come. Thou art of earth but I 
am dead to the world. Return, my husband, 
return!" He plead piteously to be taken with 
her. She consenting, he was wrapt in the cloud 
with her and borne across the illimitable sea that 
separates the abode of the living from that of 
the dead. When they reached the realms of 
ghosts a spirit voice said: "Sister, thou comest 
to us with an odor of earth; what dost thou 
bring?" Then she confessed that she had 
brought her living husband. "Take him away!" 
said a voice stern and commanding. She plead 
that he might remain and recounted his many 
virtues. To test his virtues, the spirits gave him 
four labors. First to bring a feather from the 
top of a pole so high that its summit was in- 
visible. Xext to split a hair of great length and 
exceeding fineness ; third to make on the ground 
a map of the constellation of the lesser bear and 
locate the north star and last to slay the celestial 
deer that had the form of black beetles and were 
exceedingly swift. With the aid of his wife he 
accomplished all the tasks. 

But ne) mortal was allowed to dwell in the 
abodes of death. "Take thou thy wife and re- 
turn with her to the earth." said the spirit. "Vet 
remember, thou shalt not -peak to her: thou 
shah not touch her until three suns have | 
A penalty awaits thy disobedience." He prom 
ised. They pass from the spirit land and travel 
to the confines of matter. By day she is invis- 
ible but by the flickering light of his camp-fire 
lie sees tlie dim outline .if her form. Three days 
pa--. As the sun sinks behind the western hills 
he builds his camp-fire. She appears ' 
him in all the beauty of life, lie stretches forth 
his anus to embrace her. She is snatched from 
his grasp. Although invisible to him yet the 
upper rim of the great orb of day hung above 
the western \ erge. 1 le hid bn iken hi 
ise. Like Orpheus, disconsolate, he wai 
over the earth until, relenting, the spirit- senl 
their servant Heath to bring him to Tecupar 
i I leaven). 

Idie following myth of the mountain lndian< 



of the north bears a strong resemblance to the 
Norse fable of Gyoll the River of Death and its 
glittering bridge, over which the spirits of the 
dead pass to Hel, the land of spirits. The In- 
dian, however, had no idea of any kind of a 
bridge except a foot log across a stream. The 
myth in a crude form was narrated to me many 
years ago by an old pioneer. 

According to this myth when an Indian died 
his spirit form was conducted by an unseen 
guide over a mountain trail unknown and inac- 
cessible to mortals, to the rapidly flowing river 
which separated the abode of the living from 
that of the dead. As the trail descended to the 
river it branched to the right and left. The right 
hand path led to a foot bridge made of the mas- 

sive trunk of a rough barked pine which spanned 
the Indian styx; the left led to a slender, fresh 
peeled birch pole that hung high above the roar- 
ing torrent. At the parting of the trail an in- 
exorable fate forced the bad to the left, while 
the spirit form of the good passed on to the 
right and over the rough barked pine to the 
happy hunting grounds, the Indian heaven. The 
bad reaching the river's brink and gazing long- 
ingly upon the delights beyond, essayed to cross 
the slippery pole — a slip, a slide, a clutch at 
empty space, and the ghostly spirit form was 
hurled into the mad torrent below, and was 
borne by the rushing waters into a vast lethean 
lake where it sunk beneath the waves and was 
blotted from existence forever. 


Sax Diego de Alcala'. 

THE two objective points chosen by Vis- 
itador General Galvez and President 
Junipero Serra to begin the spiritual 
conquest and civilization of the savages of Alia 
California, were San Diego and .Monterey. The 
expeditions sent by land and sea were all united 
at San Diego July i, 1769. Father Serra lost no 
time in beginning the founding of mi sions. 
< Mi i he [6th <>f Jul\', 1769, he founded the mis- 
sion of San Diego de Alcala. It was the first 
link in the chain of missionary establishments 
that eventually stretched northward from San 
Diego tn Solano, a distance "i seven hundred 
miles, a chain that was fifty-five years in forging. 
The first site of tin- San Diego mission was at 
a place called by the Indian- "I osoy." It was 
located near the presidio established by Gov- 
ernor Portola before lie sel mi: in search of 
Monterey. The locality is now known as Old 

Temporary buildings were erected hen but 

proved unsuitable and in August, 

1771. tin- mission was removed about two 

up the San I )iegi 1 river to a place called 

by the natives "Nipaguay." Here a dwelling for 

the padres, a store house, a smithy and a 

•" Ii 11 church 18x57 tl -' et were erected. 

The mission buildings at Cosoy were given 
up to the presidio except two rooms, one for 
the visiting priests and the other for a temporary 
store room for mission supplies coming by sea. 
The missionaries had been fairly successful in 
the conversions of the natives and some prog- 
ress had been made in teaching them to labor. 
( In the night of November 4. 1775. without any 
previous warning, the gentiles or unconverted 
Indians in great numbers attacked the mission. 
( tne of the friars, I-"ra\ Funster, escaped to the 
soldiers' quarters; the other. Father Jaume, was 
killed by the savages. The blacksmith also was 
killed; the carpenter succeeded in reaching the 
soldiers. The Indians set fire to the buildings 
which were nearly all of wood. The soldiers, the 
priest and carpenter were driven into a small 
adobe building that had been used as a kitchen. 
Two nf the soldiers were wounded. The cor- 
poral, one soldier ami the carpenter were all 
that were left to hold at bay a thousand howl- 
ing fiends. The corporal, who was a sharp 
shooter, did deadly execution on the savatjes. 



Father Funster saved the defenders from being 
blown to pieces by the explosion of a fifty pound 
sack of gunpowder. He spread his cloak over 
the sack and sat on it, thus preventing the pow- 
der from being ignited by the sparks of the 
burning building. The fight lasted till daylight, 
when the hostiles fled. The Christian Indians 
who professed to have been coerced by the sav- 
ages then appeared and made many protesta- 
tions of sorrow at what had happened. The mili- 
tary commander was not satisfied that they were 
innocent but the padres believed them. New 
buildings were erected at the same place, the 
soldiers of the presidio for a time assisting the 
Indians in their erection. 

The mission was fairly prosperous. In 1800 
the cattle numbered 6,960 and the agricultural 
products amounted to 2,600 bushels. From 
1769 to 1834 there were 6,638 persons baptized 
and 4,428 buried. The largest number of cat- 
tle possessed by the mission at one time was 
9,245 head in 1822. The old building now stand- 
ing on the mission site at the head of the valley 
is the third church erected there. The first, 
built of wood and roofed with tiles, was erected 
in 1774; the second, built of adobe, was com- 
pleted in 1780 (the walls of this were badly 
cracked by an earthquake in 1803); the third was 
begun in 1808 and dedicated November 12, 
1813. The mission was secularized in 1834. 


As narrated in a former chapter, Governor 
Portola, who with a small force had set out from 
San Diego to find Monterey Bay, reached that 
port May 24, 1770. Father Serra, who came 
up by sea on the San Antonia, arrived at the 
same place May 31. All things being in readi- 
ness the Presidio of Monterey and the mission 
of San Carlos de Borromeo were founded on 
the same day — June 3, 1770. The boom of ar- 
tillery and the roar of musketry accompani- 
ments to the service of the double founding 
frightened the Indians away from the mission 
and it was some time before the savages could 
muster courage to return. In June, 1771 , the 
site of the mission was moved to the Carmelo 
river. This was done by Father Serra to re- 
move the neophytes from the contaminating in- 

fluence of the soldiers at the presidio. The erec- 
tion of the stone church still standing was be- 
gun in 1793. It was completed and dedicated 
in 1797. The largest neophyte population at 
San Carlos was reached in 1794, when it num- 
bered nine hundred and seventy-one. Between 
1800 and 1810 it declined to seven hundred and 
forty-seven. In 1820 the population had de- 
creased to three hundred and eighty-one and 
at the end of the next decade it had fallen to 
two hundred and nine. In 1834, when the de- 
cree of secularization was put in force, there were 
about one hundred and fifty neophytes at the 
mission. At the rate of decrease under mission 
rule, a few more years would have pro- 
duced the same result that secularization did, 
namely, the extinction of the mission Indian. 


The third mission founded in California was 
San Antonio de Padua. It was located about 
twenty-five leagues from Monterey. Here, on 
the 14th of June, 1771, in La Canada de los 
Robles, the canon of oaks beneath a shelter of 
(■ranches, Father Serra performed the services 
of founding. The Indians seem to have been 
more tractable than those of San Diego or Mon- 
terey. The first convert was baptized one 
month after the establishment of the mission. 
San Antonio attained the highest limit of its 
neophyte population in 1805, when it had 
twelve hundred and ninety-six souls within its 
fold. In 183 1 there were six hundred and sixty- 
one Indians at or near the mission. In 1834, the 
date of secularization, there were five hundred 
and sixty-seven. After its disestablishment the 
property of the mission was quickly squandered 
through inefficient administrators. The build- 
ings are in ruins. 


San Gabriel Arcangel was the fourth mission 
founded in California. Father Junipero Serra. 
as previously narrated, had gone north in 1770 
and founded the mission of San Carlos Bor- 
romeo on Monterey Pay and the following year 
he established the mi n Vntonio de 

Padua on the Salinas river about twenty-five 
leagues south of Monterey. 



( >n the 6th of August, 1771, a cavalcade of 
soldiers and musketeers escorting Padres 
Somero and Cambon set out from San Diego 
over the trail made by Portola's expedition in 
1769 (when it went north in search of Monterey 
Bay) to found a new mission on the River Jesus 
de los Temblores or to give it its full name, El 
Rio del Dulcisimo Nombre de Jesus de los 
Temblores, the river of the sweetest name of 
Jesus of the Earthquakes. Not finding a suit- 
able location on that river (now the Santa Ana) 
they pushed on to the Rio San Miguel, also 
known as the Rio de los Temblores. Here 
they selected a site where wood and water were 
abundant. A stockade of poles was built inclos- 
ing a square within which a church was erected, 
covered with boughs. 

September 8, 1 771 , the mission was formally 
founded and dedicated to the archangel Gabriel. 
The Indians who at the coming of the Spaniards 
were docile and friendly, a few days after the 
founding of the mission suddenly attacked two 
soldiers who were guarding the horses. One of 
these soldiers had outraged the wife of the chief 
who led the attack. The soldier who committed 
the crime killed the chieftain with a musket ball 
and the other Indians fled. The soldiers then 
cut off the chief's head and fastened it to a pole 
at the presidio gate. From all accounts the sol- 
diers at this mission were more brutal and bar- 
barous than the Indians and more in need of 
missionaries to convert them than the Indians. 
The progress of the mission was slow. At the 
end of the second year only seventy-three chil- 
dren and adults had been baptized. Father Serra 
attributed the lack of conversions to the bad 
(.induct nf the soldiers. 

The first buildings at the mission Yicja were 
all of wood. The church was 45x18 feet, built of 
logs and covered with tule thatch. The church 
and other wooden buildings used by the padres 
stood within a square inclosed by pointed stakes. 
In 1776. five years after its founding, the mis- 
sion was moved from its first location to a new 
site about a league distant from the old one. 
'Idle old site was subject to overllow by the 
river. The adobe ruins pointed out to tourists 
as th r foundations of the old mission are the 
debris of a building erected for a ranch house 

about sixty years ago. The buildings at the 
mission Yieja were all of wood and no trace of 
them remains. A chapel was first built at the 
new site. It was replaced by a church built of 
adobes one hundred and eight feet long by 
twenty-one feet wide. The present stone church, 
begun about 1794, and completed about 1806, 
is the fourth church erected. 

The mission attained the acme of its impor- 
tance in 1817. when there were seventeen hun- 
dred and one neophytes in the mission fold. 

The largest grain crop raised at any mission 
was that harvested at San Gabriel in 1821, which 
amounted to 29,400 bushels. The number of cat- 
tle belonging to the mission in 1830 was 25,725. 
During the whole period of the mission's exist- 
ence, i. e., from 1771 to 1834, according to sta- 
tistics compiled by Bancroft from mission rec- 
ords, the total number of baptisms was 7,854, 
of which 4,355 were Indian adults and 2,459 
were Indian children and the remainder gente de 
razon or people of reason. The deaths were 
5.656, of which 2,916 were Indian adults and 
2,363 Indian children. If all the Indian children 
born were baptized it would seem (if the sta- 
tistics are correct) that but very few ever grew 
up to manhood and womanhood. In 1834, the 
year of its secularization, its neophyte popula- 
tion was 1,320. 

The missionaries of San Gabriel established 
a station at old San Bernardino about 1820. It 
was not an asistencia like pala, but merely an 
agricultural station or ranch headquarters. The 
buildings were destroyed by the Indians in 1834. 


On his journey southward in 1782, President 
Serra and Padre Cavalier, with a small escort of 
soldiers and a few Lower California Indians, on 
September 1, 1772, founded the mission of San 
Luis Obispo de Tolosa (St. Louis, Bishop of 
Tolouse). The site selected was on a creek 
twenty-five leagues southerly from San An- 
tonio. The soldiers and Indians were set at 
work to erect buildings. Padre Cavalier was left 
in charge of the mission, Father Serra continu- 
ing his journey southward. This mission was 
never a very important one. Its greatest popu- 
lation was in 1803. when there were eight 



hundred and fifty-two neophytes within its juris- 
diction. From that time to 1834 their number 
declined to two hundred and sixty-four. The 
average death rate was 7.30 per cent of the pop- 
ulation — a lower rate than at some of the more 
populous missions. The adobe church built in 
1793 is still in use, but has been so remodeled 
that it bears but little resemblance to the church 
of mission days. 


The expedition under command of Portola 
in 1769 failed to find Monterey Bay but it passed 
on and discovered the great bay of San Fran- 
cisco. So far no attempt had been made to 
plant a mission or presidio on its shores. Larly 
in 1775, Lieutenant Ayala was ordered to ex- 
plore the bay with a view to forming a settle- 
ment near it. Rivera had previously explored 
the land bordering on the bay where the city 
now stands. Captain Anza, the discoverer of the 
overland route from Mexico to California via 
the Colorado river, had recruited an expedition 
of two hundred persons in Sonora for the pur- 
pose of forming a settlement at San Francisco, 
He set out in 1775 and reached Monterey March 
10, 1776. A quarrel between him and Rivera, 
who was in command at Monterey, defeated for 
a time the purpose for which the settlers had 
been brought, and Anza, disgusted with the 
treatment he had received from Rivera, aban- 
doned the enterprise. Anza had selected a site 
for a presidio at San Francisco. After his de- 
parture Rivera changed his policy of delay that 
had frustrated all of Anza's plans and decided at 
once to proceed to the establishment of a pre- 
sidio. The presidio was formally founded Sep- 
tember 17, 1776, at wdiat is now known as Fort 
Point. The ship San Carlos had brought a num- 
ber of persons; these with the settlers who had 
come up from Monterey made an assemblage of 
more than one hundred and fifty persons. 

After the founding of the presidio Lieutenant 
Moraga in command of the military and Captain 
Quiros el' the San Carlos, set vigorousl) at work 
to build a church for the mission. A wooden 
building having been constructed on the oth of 
October, 1776, the mission was dedicated. 
Father Palou conducting the service, assisted by 

Fathers Cambon, Nocedal and Peha. The site 
selected for the mission was on the Laguna de 
los Dolores. The lands at the mission were not 
very productive. The mission, however, was 
fairly prosperous. In 1820 it owned 11,240 cat- 
tle and the total product of wheat was 114.480 
bushels. In 1820 there were 1,252 neophytes 
attached to it. The death rate was very heavy — 
the average rate being 12.4 per cent of the pop- 
ulation. In 1832 the population had decreased 
to two hundred and four and at the time of 
secularization it had declined to one hundred 
and fifty. A number of neophytes had been 
taken to the new mission of San Francisco So- 


The revolt of the Indians at San Diego de- 
layed the founding of San Juan Capistrano a 
year. October 30. 1775, the initiatory services 
of the founding had been held when a messenger 
came with the news of the uprising of the sav- 
ages and the massacre of Father Jaume and 
others. The bells which had been hung on a 
tree were taken down and buried. The soldiers 
and the padres hastened to San Diego. Novem- 
ber 1, 177''. Fathers Serra, Mugartegui and 
Amurrio, with an escort of soldiers, arrived at 
the site formerly selected. The bells were dug up 
and hung on a tree, an enramada of boughs was 
constructed and Father Serra said mass. The 
first location of the mission was several miles 
northeasterly from the present site at the foot 
of the mountain. The abandoned site is still 
known a la Mision Vieja (the Old Mission). 
Just when the change of location was made is 
not known. 

The erection of a stone church was begun in 
February, 1797. and completed in [806 \ 
master builder had been brought from Mexico 
and under his superintendence the neophytes 
did the mechanical labor. It was the largi 
handsomest church in California and was the 
pride of mission architecture. The year 1S12 
was known in California as el ano de los tem- 
earthquakes. For months 
the seismic disturbance was almost continuous. 
( )u Sunday, December 8, [812, a severe shock 
threw down the lofty church tower, which 
crashed through the vaulted roof on the congre- 



gation below. The padre who was celebrating 
mass escaped through the sacristy. Of the fifty 
persons present only live or six escaped. The 
church was never rebuilt. "There is not much 
doubt," says Bancroft, "that the disaster was 
due rather to faulty construction than to the 
violence of the temblor." The edifice was of the 
usual cruciform shape, about 90x180 feet on 
the ground, with very thick walls and arched 
dome-like roof all constructed of stones imbed- 
ded in mortar or cement. The stones were not 
hewn, but of irregular size and shape, a kind of 
structure evidently requiring great skill to en- 
sure solidity. The mission reached its maxi- 
mum in 1819; from that on till the date of its 
secularization there was a rapid decline in the 
numbers of its live stock and of its neophytes. 

This was one of the missions in which Gov- 
ernor Figueroa tried his experiment of forming 
Indian pueblos of the neophytes. For a time 
the experiment was a partial success, but even- 
tually it went the way of all the other missions. 
Its lands were granted to private individuals 
and the neophytes scattered. Its picturesque 
ruins are a great attraction to tourists. 


The mission of Santa Clara was founded Jan- 
uary i_\ 1777. The site had been selected some 
time before and two missionaries designated for 
service at it, but the comandante of the terri- 
tory. Rivera y Moncada, who was an exceed- 
ingly obstinate per,-, in, had opposed the found- 
ing on various pretexts, but posititve orders 
coming from the viceroy Rivera did not longer 
delay, so on the 6th of January, 1777, a detach- 
ment of soldiers under Lieutenant Moraga, ac- 
companied by Father Pefia, was sent from San 
Francisco to the site selected which was about 
sixteen leagues south of San Francisco. Here 
under an enramada the services of dedication 
were held. The Indians were not averse to re- 
ceiving a new religion and at the close of the 
year sixty-seven had been baptized. 

The mission was quite prosperous and be- 
came one of the most important in the territory. 
Il was located in the heart of a rich agricul- 
tural district. The total product of wheat was 
175,800 bushels. In [828 the mission docks and 

herds numbered over 30,000 animals. The 

neophyte population in 1S27 was 1,464. The 

death rate was high, averaging 12.63 P er cent 

of the population. The total number of bap- 
tisms was 8,640; number of deaths 6,950. In 

1834 the population had declined to 800. 
Secularization was effected in 1837. 


The founding of San Buenaventura had been 
long delayed. It was to have been among the 
first missions founded by Father Serra; it proved 
to be his last. On the 26th of March, 1782, 
Governor de Neve, accompanied by Father 
Serra (who had come down afoot from San 
Carlos), and Father Cambon, with a convoy of 
soldiers and a number of neophytes, set out 
from San Gabriel to found the mission. At the 
first camping place Governor de Neve was re- 
called to San Gabriel by a message from Col. 
Pedro Fazes, informing him of the orders of the 
council of war to proceed against the Yumas 
who had the previous year destroyed the two 
missions on the Colorado river and massacred 
the missionaries. 

On the 29th, the remainder of the company 
reached a place on the coast named by Portola 
in 1769, Asuncion de Nuestra Sehora, which 
had for some time been selected for a mission 
site. Near it was a large Indian rancheria. On 
Easter Sunday, .March 31st, the mission was for- 
mally founded with the usual ceremonies and 
dedicated to San Buenaventura (Giovanni de 
Fidanza of Tuscany), a follower of St. Francis, 
the founder of the Franciscans. 

The progress of the mission was slow at first, 
only two adults were baptized in 1782, the 
yeai of its founding. The first buildings built 
oi wood were destroyed by fire. The church 
still used for service, built of brick and adobe, 
was completed and dedicated. September 9, 1809. 
The earthquake of December 8, 1812, damaged 
the church to such an extent that the tower 
and part of the facade had to be rebuilt. After 
the earthquake the whole site of the mission 
for a time seemed to be sinking. The inhabi- 
tants, fearful of being engulfed by the sea, re- 
moved to San Joaquin \ Santa Ana, where they 
remained several months. The mission at- 



tained its greatest prosperity in 1816, when its 
neophyte population numbered 1.330 and it 
owned 23.400 cattle. 


Governor Felipe de Neve founded the presidio 
of Santa Barbara April 21, 1782. Father Sena 
had hoped to found the mission at the same time, 
but in ihis he was disappointed. His death in 
1784 still further delayed the founding and it 
was not until the latter part of 1786 that every- 
thing was in readiness for the establishing of 
the new mission. On the 22d of November 
Father Lasuen, who had succeeded Father 
Serra as president of the missions, arrived at 
Santa Barbara, accompanied by two missiona- 
ries recently from Mexico. He selected a site 
about a mile distant from the presidio. The 
place was called Taynagan (Rocky Hill) by the 
Indians. There was a plentiful supply of stone 
on the site for building and an abundance of 
water for irrigation. 

On the 15th of December, 1786, Father 
Lasuen. in a hut of boughs, celebrated the first 
mass; but December 4, the day that the fiesta of 
Santa Barbara is commemorated, is considered 
the date of its founding. Fart of the services 
were held on that day. A chapel built of adobes 
and roofed with thatch was erected in 1787. Sev- 
eral other buildings of adobe were erected the 
same year. In 1788, tile took the place of 
thatch. In 1789, a second church, much larger 
than the first, was built. A third church of adobe 
was commenced in 1793 and finished in 1794. 
A brick portico was added in 1795 and the walls 

The great earthquake of December, 1812, de- 
molished the mission church and destroyed 
nearly all the buildings. The years 1813 and 
1814 were spent in removing the debris of the 
ruined buildings and in preparing for the erec- 
tion of new ones. The erection of the presenl 
mission church was begun in 181 5. It was com- 
pleted and dedicated September 10, 1820. 

Father Caballeria, in his History of Santa 
Barbara, gives the dimensions of the church as. 
follows: "Length (includintj walls), sixty varas; 
width, fourteen varas; height, ten varas (a vara 
is thirty-four inches)." The walls arc of stone 

and rest on a foundation of rock and cement. 
They are six feet thick and are further strength- 
ened by buttresses. Notwithstanding the build- 
ing has withstood the storms of four score years, 
it is still in an excellent state of preservation. 
Its exterior has not been disfigured by attempts 
at modernizing. 

The highest neophyte population was reached 
at Santa Barbara in 1803, when it numbered 
1,792. The largest number of cattle was 5,200 in 
1809. In 1834, the year of secularization, the 
neophytes numbered 556, which was a decrease 
of 155 from the number in 1830. At such a rate 
of decrease it would not, even if mission rule 
had continued, have taken more than a dozen 
years to depopulate the mission. 


Two missions, San Buenaventura and Santa 
Barbara, had been founded on the Santa Bar- 
bara channel in accordance with Neve's report of 
1777, in which he recommended the founding of 
three missions and a presidio in that district. 
It was the intention of General La Croix to con- 
duct these on a different plan from that prevail- 
ing in the older missions. The natives were not 
to be gathered into a missionary establishment, 
but were to remain in their rancherias, which 
were to be converted into mission pueblos. The 
Indians were to receive instruction in religion, 
industrial arts and self-government while com- 
paratively free from restraint. The plan which 
no doubt originated with Governor de Neve, 
was a good one theoretically, and possibly might 
have been practically. The missionaries were 
bitterly opposed to it. Unfortunately it was 
tried first in the Colorado river missions among 
the fierce and treacherous Vumas. The mas- 
sacre of the padres and soldiers of these mis- 
sions was attributed to this innovation. 

In establishing the channel missions the mis- 
sionaries opposed tlu inauguration of this plan 
and by their persistence succeeded in setting it 
aside; and the old system was adopted. La 
Purisima Concepcion. or the Immaculate Con- 
ception of the Blessed Virgin, the third of the 
channel mission-, was founded December 8, 
17S7. by Father Lasuen at a place called by the 
natives Algsacupi. Its location i- about twelve 



miles from the ocean on the Santa Ynez river. 
Three years after its founding three hundred 
converts had been baptized but not all of them 
lived at the mission. The first church was a 
temporary structure. The second church, built 
of adobe and roofed with tile, was completed in 
1802. December 21, 1812. an earthquake de- 
molished the church and also about one hundred 
adobe houses of the neophytes. A site across 
the river and about four miles distant from the 
former one, was selected for new buildings. A 
temporary building for a church was erected 
there. A new church, built of adobe and roofed 
with tile, was completed and dedicated in t8i8. 

The Indians revolted in 1824 and damage 1 
the building. They took possession of it and a 
battle lasting four hours was fought between one 
hundred and thirty soldiers and four hundred 
Indians. The neophytes cut loop holes in the 
church and used two old rusty cannon and a 
few guns they possessed; but, unused to lire 
anus, they were routed with the loss of several 
killed. During the revolt which lasted several 
months four white men and fifteen or twenty In- 
dians were killed. The hostiles, most of whom 
lied to the Tulares, were finally subdued. The 
leaders were punished with imprisonment and 
the others returned in their missions. 

This mission's population was largest in 1804, 
• when it numbered 1,520. In 1834 there were but 
407 neophytes connected with it. It was secular- 
ized in February, 1835. During mission rule 
from 1787 to 1834, the total number of Indian 
children baptized was 1 .402 : died 902, which was 
a lower death rale than at most of the southern 

Santa Cruz, one o) I t of the twenty- 

one missions of California, was founded Septem- 
ber 2},, [790. The mission was never very pros- 
perous. In [798 many of the neophyt< di 
and the same year a flood covered the 
fields and damaged the church. In 1812 
the neophytes murdered the missionary in 
charge, Padre Andres Quintana. They claimed 
that he had treated them with great cruelly. 
Five of those implicated in the murder received 
two hundred lashes each and were sentenced to 
work in chains from two to ten years. Only 

one survived the punishment. The maximum 
of its population was reached in 1798, when 
there were six hundred and forty-four Indians 
in the mission fold. The total number bap- 
tized from the date of its founding to 1834 was 
2,466; the total number of deaths was 2,034. The 
average death rate was 10.93 P er cent °f tlle 
population. At the time of its secularization in 
[834 there were only two hundred and fifty In- 
dians belonging to the mission. 


The mission of our Lady of Solitude was 
founded September 29, 1791. The site selected 
had borne the name Soledad (solitude) ever 
since the first exploration of the country. The 
location was thirty miles northeast of San Car- 
los de Monterey. La Soledad, by which name 
it was generally known, was unfortunate in its 
early missionaries. One of them, Padre Gracia, 
was supposed to be insane and the other, Padre 
Rubi, was very immoral. Rubi was later on ex- 
pelled from his college for licentiousness. At 
the close of the century the mission had become 
fairly prosperous, but in 1802 an epidemic broke 
out and five or six deaths occurred daily. The 
Indians in alarm fled from the mission. The 
largest population of the mission was seven 
hundred and twenty-five in 1805. At the time 
of secularization its population had decreased to 
three hundred. The total number of baptisms 
during its existence was 2,222; number of deaths 


St. Joseph had been designated by the visita- 
dor General Galvez and Father Junipero Serra 
as the patron saint of the mission colonization of 
California. Thirteen missions had been founded 
and yet none had been dedicated to San Jose. 
( )rders came from Mexico that one be estab- 
lished and named for him. Accordingly a de- 
tail of a corporal and five men, accompanied by 
Father Lasuen, president of the missions, pro- 
ceeded to the site selected, which was about 
twelve miles northerly from the pueblo of San 
Jose. There, on June 11, 1707. the mission was 
founded. The mission was well located agricul- 
turally and became one of the most prosperous 
in California. In 1820 it had a population of 


1,754, the highest of any mission except San 
Luis Rey. The total number of baptisms from 
its founding to 1834 was 6,737; deaths 5,109. 
Secularization was effected in 1836-37. The to- 
tal valuation of the mission property, not in- 
cluding lands or the church, was $155,000. 


In May, 1797, Governor Borica ordered the 
comandante at Monterey to detail a corporal 
and five soldiers to proceed to a site that had 
been previously chosen for a mission which was 
about ten leagues northeast from Monterey. 
Here the soldiers erected of wood a church, 
priest's house, granary and guard house. June 
24, 1797, President Lasuen, assisted by Fathers 
Catala and Martiari, founded the mission of 
San Juan Bautista (St. John the Baptist). At 
the close of the year, eighty-five converts had 
been baptized. The neighboring Indian tribes 
were hostile and some of them had to be killed 
before others learned to behave themselves. A 
new church, measuring 60x160 feet, was com- 
pleted and dedicated in 1812. San Juan was the 
only mission whose population increased between 
1820 and 1830. This was due to the fact that its 
numbers were recruited from the eastern tribes, 
its location being favorable for obtaining new- 
recruits from the gentiles. The largest popula- 
tion it ever reached was 1,248 in 1823. In 1834 
there were but 850 neophytes at the mission. 


Midway between the old missions of San An- 
tonio and San Luis Obispo, on the 25th of July, 
1797, was founded the mission of San Miguel 
Arcangel. The two old missions contributed 
horses, cattle and sheep to start the new one. 
The mission had a propitious beginning; fifteen 
children were baptized on the day the mission 
was founded. At the close of the century the 
number of converts reached three hundred and 
eighty-five, of whom fifty-three had died. The 
mission population numbered 1,076 in 1X14: 
after that it steadily declined until, in 1834, there 
were only 599 attached to the establishment. 
Total number of baptisms was 2,588: deaths 
2,038. The average death rate was 6.91 per 
cent of the population, the lowest rate in any 

of the missions. The mission was secularized 
in 1836. 


In the closing years of the century explora- 
tions were made for new mission sites in Cali- 
fornia. These were to be located between mis- 
sions already founded. Among those selected 
at that time was the site of the mission San Fer- 
nando on the Encino Rancho, then occupied by 
Francisco Reyes. Reyes surrendered whatever 
right he had to the land and the padres occupied 
his house for a dwelling while new buildings 
were in the course of erection. 

September 8. 1797, with the usual ceremo- 
nies, the mission was founded by President 
Lasuen, assisted by Father Dumetz. According 
tc instructions from Mexico it was dedicated to 
San Fernando Rey de Esparia (Fernando III., 
King of Spain, 12 17-125 1). At the end of the 
year 1797, fifty-five converts had been gathered 
into the mission fold and at the end of the cen- 
tury three hundred and fifty-two had been bap- 

The adobe church began before the close of 
the century was completed and dedicated in De- 
cember, 1806. It had a tiled roof. It was but 
slightly injured by the great earthquakes of De- 
cember, 1812, which were so destructive to the 
mission buildings at San Juan Capistrano, Santa 
Barbara, La Purisima and Santa Vnez. This 
mission reached its greatest prosperity in i8ig, 
when its neophyte population numbered 1,080. 
The largest number of cattle owned by it at one 
time was 12,800 in 1819. 

Its decline was not so rapid as that of some 
of the other missions, but the death rate, espe- 
cially among the children, was fully as high. Of 
the 1.367 Indian children baptized there during 
the existence of mission rule 965, or over seventy 
per cent, died in childhood. It was not strange 
that the fearful death rate both of children and 
adults at the missions sometimes frightened 
the neophytes into running away. 


Several explorations had been made i"i a mis 
sion site between San Diego and San Juan 
1 apistrano. There was quite a large Indian 


population that had not been brought into the 
folds of either mission. In October, 1797, a 
new exploration of this territory was ordered 
and a site was finally selected, although the ag- 
ricultural advantages were regarded as not sat- 

Governor Borica, February 28, 1798. issued 
orders to the comandante at San Diego to 
furnish a detail of soldiers to aid in erecting the 
necessary buildings. June 13. 1798. President 
Lasuen, the successor of President Serra, as- 
sisted by Fathers Peyri and Santiago, with the 
usual services, founded the new mission. It 
was named San Luis Rev de Francia (St. Louis, 
King of France). Its location was near a river 
on which was bestowed the name of the mis- 
sion. The mission flourished from its very be- 
ginning. Its controlling power was Padre An- 
tonio Peyri. He remained in charge of it from 
its founding almost to its downfall, in all thirty- 
three years. He was a man of great executive 
abilities and under his administration it be- 
came one of the largest and most prosperous 
missions in California. It reached its maximum 
in 1826, when its neophyte population numbered 
2,869, the largest number at one time connected 
with any mission in the territory. 

The asLtencia or auxiliary mission of San 
Antonio was established at l'ala, seven leagues 
easterly from the parent mission. A chapel was 
erected here and regular services held. One of 
the padres connected with San Luis Rev was 
in charge of this station. Father Peyri left Cal- 
ifornia in 1831, with the exiled Governor Vic- 
toria. He went to Mexico and from there to 
Spain and lastly to Rome, wdiere he died. The 
mission was converted into an Indian pueblo in 
[834, but the pueblo was not a success. Most 
.if the neophytes drifted to Los Angeles and 
San Gabriel. Luring the Mexican conquest 
American troops weir stationed there. It has 
recently been partially repaired and is now used 
for a Franciscan school under charge of Father 
J. J. O'Keefe. 


Santa Ynez was the last mission founded in 
Southern California. It was established Sep- 
tember 17. [804. Its location is about forty miles 

northwesterly from Santa Barbara, on the east- 
erly side of the Santa Ynez mountains and 
eighteen miles southeasterly from La Purisima. 
Father Tapis, president of the missions from 
1803 to 1812, preached the sermon and was 
assisted in the ceremonies by Fathers Cipies, 
Calzada and Gutierrez. Carrillo, the comandante 
at the presidio, was present, as were also a num- 
ber of neophytes from Santa Barbara and La 
Purisima. Some of these were transferred to 
the new mission. 

The earthquake of December, 1812, shook 
down a portion of the church and destroyed a 
number of the neophytes' houses. In 1815 the 
erection of a new church was begun. It was built 
of adobes, lined with brick, and was completed 
and dedicated July 4. 1817. The Indian revolt of 
[824, described in the sketch of La Purisima, 
broke out first at this mission. The neophytes 
took possession of the church. The mission 
guard defended themselves and the padre. At 
the approach of the troops from Santa Barbara 
the Indians fled to La Purisima. 

San Ynez attained its greatest population. 
770, in 1816. In 1834 its population had de- 
creased to 334. From its founding in 1804 to 
[834, when the decrees of secularization were 
put in force, /$~ Indian children were baptized 
and 519 died, leaving only 238, or about thirty 
per cent of those baptized to grow up. 


San Rafael was the first mission established 
north of the Bay of San Francisco. It was 
founded December 14, 1817. At first it was an 
asistencia or branch of San Francisco. An epi- 
demic had broken out in the Mission Dolores 
and a number of the Indians were transferred to 
San Rafael to escape the plague. Later on it 
attained to the dignity of a mission. In 1828 its 
population was 1,140. After 1830 it began to 
decline and at the time of its secularization in 
1834 there were not more than 500 connected 
with it. In the seventeen years of its existence 
under mission rule there were 1,873 baptisms and 
698 deaths. The average death rate was 6.09 
per cent of the population. The mission was 
secularized in 1834. All traces of the mission 
building have disappeared. 




The mission of San Francisco de Asis had 
fallen into a rapid decline. The epidemic that 
had carried off a number of the neophytes and 
had caused the transfer of a considerable num- 
ber to San Rafael had greatly reduced its popu- 
lation. Besides, the sterility of the soil in the 
vicinity of the mission necessitated going a long- 
distance for agricultural land and pasturage for 
the herds and Hocks. On this account and also 
for the reason that a number of new converts 
might be obtained from the gentiles living in 
the district north of the bay. Governor Arguello 
and the mission authorities decided to establish 
a mission in that region. Explorations were 
made in June and July. 1823. On the 41 li of 
July a site was selected, a cross blessed and 
raised, a volley of musketry fired and mass said 
at a place named New San Francisco, but after- 
wards designated as the Mission of San Fran- 
cisco Solano. On the 25th of August work was 
begun on the mission building and on the 4th of 
April, 1824, a church, 24x105 feet, built of wood, 
was dedicated. 

It had been intended to remove the neophytes 
from the old mission of San Francisco to the 
new; but the padres of the old mission opposed 
its depopulation and suppression. A com- 
promise was effected by allowing all neophytes 
of the old mission who so elected to go to the 
new. Although well located, the Mission of 
Solano was not prosperous. Its largest popula- 
tion, 996, was reached in 1832. The total num- 
ber of baptisms were 1,315; deaths, 651. The 
average death rate was 7.8 per cent of the pop- 
ulation. The mission was secularized in 1835, at 
which time there were about 550 neophytes at- 
tached to it. 

The architecture of the missions was Moorish 
— that is, if it belonged to any school. The 
padres in most cases were the architects and mas- 
ter builders. The main feature of the buildings 
was massiveness. Built of adobe or rough stone, 
their walls were of great thickness. Most of tin.' 
church buildings were narrow, their width 1" ing 
out of proportion to their length. This was 
necessitated by the difficulty of procuring j « > i - 1 -^ 
and rafters of sufficient length for wide build 
ings. The padres had no means or perhaps no 

knowledge of trussing a roof, and the width 
of the building had to be proportioned to the 
length of the timbers procurable. Some of the 
buildings were planned with an eye for the pic- 
turesque, others for utility only. The sites se- 
lected for the mission buildings in nearly every 
case commanded a fine view of the surrounding 
country. In their prime, their white walls loom- 
ing up on the horizon could be seen at long 
distance and acted as beacons to guide the trav- 
eler to their hospitable shelter. 

Col. J. J. Warner, who came to California in 
1831, and saw the mission buildings before they 
had fallen into decay, thus describes their gen- 
eral plan: "As soon after the founding of a 
mission as circumstances would permit, a large 
pile of buildings in the form of a quadrangle, 
composed in part of burnt brick-, but chiefly of 
sun-dried ones, was erected around a spacious 
court. A large and capacious church, which 
usually occupied one of the outer corners of the 
quadrangle, was a conspicuous part of the pile. 
In this massive building, covered with red tile, 
was the habitation of the friars, rooms for guests 
and for the major domos and their families. In 
other buildings of the quadrangle were hospital 
wards, storehouses and granaries, rooms for 
carding, spinning and weaving of woolen fab- 
rics, shops for blacksmiths, joiners and carpen- 
ters, saddlers, shoemakers and soap boilers, and 
cellars for storing the product (wine and brandy) 
of the vineyards. Near the habitation of the 
friars another building of similar material was 
placed and used as quarters for a small number 
— about a corporal's guard — of soldiers under 
command of a non-commissioned officer, to hold 
the Indian neophytes in cheek as well as to pro- 
tect the mission from the attacks of hostile In- 
dians." The Indians, when the buildings of the 
establishment were complete, lived in adobe 
houses buill in lines near the quadrangle. Some 
of the buildings of the square were occupied by 
die alcaldes or Indian bosses. When the In- 
dians . 1 into the mis 
the) lived in brush shanties a msti ui ted in the 
-ante manner as their forefathers had built them 
for generations. In some of the missions these 
huts were not replaced by adobe buildin 

ration or more. Vancouver, who visited 


the Mission of San Francisco in 1792, sixteen 
Mar.- aitcr its founding, describes the Indian 
village with its brush-built huts. He says: 
"'These miserable habitations, each of which was 
allotted for the residence of a whole family, 
were erected with some degree of uniformity 
about three or four feet asunder in straight rows, 
leaving lanes or passageways at right angles be- 
tween them; but these were so abominably in- 
fested with every kind of filth and nastiness as 
to be rendered no less offensive than degrading 
to the human species." 

Of the houses at Santa Clara, Vancouver 
says: "The habitations were not so regularly 
disposed nor did it (the village) contain so many 
as the village of San Francisco, yet the same 
horrid state of uncleanliness and laziness seemed 
to pervade the whole." Better houses were then 
in the course of construction at Santa Clara. 
"Each house would contain two rooms and a 
garret with a garden in the rear." Vancouver 

visited San Carlos de Monterey in 1792, twenty- 
two \ears after its founding. He says: "Not- 
withstanding these people are taught and em- 
ployed from time to time in many of the occu- 
pations most useful to civil society, they had not 
made themselves any more comfortable habita- 
tions than those of their forefathers; nor did 
they seem in any respect to have benefited by 
the instruction they had received." 

Captain Beechey, of the English navy, who 
visited San Francisco and the missions around 
the bay in t8jS, found the Indians a: San Fran- 
cisco still living in their filthy hovels and grind- 
ing acorns for food. "San Jose (mission)." he 
says, "on the other hand, was all neatness, clean- 
liness and comfort." At San Carlos he found 
that the filthy hovels described by Vancouver 
had nearly all disappeared and the Indians were 
comfortably housed. He adds: "Sickness in 
general prevailed to an incredible extent in all 
the missions." 



THE presidio was an essential feature 'if 
the Spanish colonization of America. It 
was usually a fortified square of brick or 
stone, inside of which were the barracks of the 
soldiers, the officers' quarters, a church, store 
houses for provisions and military supplies. The 
gates at the entrance were closed at night, and 
it was usually provisioned for a siege. In the 
colonization of California there were four pre- 
sidios established, namely: San Diego, Monte- 
rey, San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Each 
was the headquarters of a military district and 
besides a bod) of troops kept at the presidio 
it furnished guards for the missions in its re- 
pective districl and also for the pueblos if there 
in) in the district. The first presidio was 
founded at San Diego. \- stated in a previous 
chapter, the two -hips of the expedition by sea 
for the settlement of California arrived at the 
port of San Diego in a deplorable condition 

from scurvy. The San Antonia, after a voyage 
of fifty-nine days, arrived on April 11; the San 
Carlos, although she had sailed a month earlier, 
did not arrive until April 29. consuming one 
hundred and ten days in the voyage. Don 
Miguel Constanso, the engineer who came on 
this vessel, says in his report: "The scurvy had 
infected all without exception: in such sort that 
cm entering San Diego already two men had 
died of the said sickness: most of the seamen, 
and half of the troops, found themselves pros- 
trate in their beds; only four mariners remained 
<m their feet, ami attended, aided by the troops, 
to trimming and furling the sails and other 
working of the ship." "The San Antonia." says 
Constanso, "had the half of its crew equally 
affected b) the scurvy, of which illness two men 
had likewise died." This vessel, although it had 
arrived at the port on the 1 1th of April, had evi- 
dently not landed any of its sick. < hi the 1st of 


May, Don Pedro Fages, the commander of the 
troops, Constanso and Estorace, the second cap- 
tain of the San Carlos, with twenty-five soldiers, 
set out to find a watering place where they could 
fill their barrels with fresh water. "Following 
the west shore of the port, after going a mat- 
ter of three leagues, they arrived at the banks 
of a river hemmed in with a fringe of willows 
and cottonwoods. Its channel must have been 
twenty varas wide and it discharges into an 
estuary which at high tide could admit the 
launch and made it convenient for accomplish- 
ing the taking on of water." * * :i "Hav- 
ing reconnoitered the watering place, the Span- 
iards betook themselves back on board the 
vessels and as these were found to be very far 
away from the estuary in which the river dis- 
charges, their captains, Vicente Vila and Don 
Juan Perez, resolved to approach it as closely 
as they could in order to give less work to the 
people handling the launches. These labors 
were accomplished with satiety of hardship; for 
from one day to the next the number of the sick- 
kept increasing, along with the dying of the 
most aggravated cases and augmented the fa- 
tigue of the few who remained on their 

"Immediate to the beach on the side toward 
the east a scanty enclosure was constructed 
formed of a parapet of earth and fascines, which 
was garnished with two cannons. They disem- 
barked some sails and awnings from the packets 
with which they made two tents capacious 
enough for a hospital. At one side the two offi- 
cers, the missionary fathers and the surgeon put 
up their own tents; the sick were brought in 
launches to this improvised presidio and hospi- 
tal." "But these diligencies," says Constanso, 
"were not enough to procure them health." 
* * * "The cold made itself felt with rigor at 
night in the barracks and the sun by day. alter- 
nations which made the sick suffer cruelly, two 
or three of them dying every day. And this 
whole expedition, which had been composed of 
more than ninety men, saw itself reduced to only 
eight soldiers and as many mariners in a state to 
attend to the safeguarding of the barks, the 
working of the launches, custody of the camp 
and service of the sick." 

Rivera y Moncada, the commander of the 
first detachment of the land expedition, arrived 
at San Diego May 14. It was decided by the 
officers to remove the camp to a point near the 
river. This had not been done before on ac- 
count of the small force able to work and the 
lack of beasts of burden. Rivera's men were all 
in good health and after a day's rest "all were 
removed to a new camp, which was transferred 
one league further north on the right side of 
the river upon a hill of middling height." 

Here a presidio was built, the remains of 
which can still be seen. It was a parapet of 
earth similar to that thrown up at the first camp, 
which, according to Bancroft, was probably 
within the limits of New Town and the last one 
in Old Town or Xorth San Diego. 

While Portola's expedition was away search- 
ing for the port of Monterey, the Indians made 
an attack on the camp at San Diego, killed a 
Spanish youth and wounded Padre Yiscaino, the 
blacksmith, and a Lower California neophyte. 
The soldiers remaining at San Diego sur- 
rounded the buildings with a stockade. Con- 
stanso says, on the return of the Spaniards of 
Portola's expedition; "They found in good con- 
dition their humble buildings, surrounded with 
a palisade of trunks of trees, capable of a good 
defense in Case of necessity." 

"In 1782, the presidial force at San Diego, be- 
sides the commissioned officers, consisted of five 
corporals and forty-six soldiers. Six men were 
constantly on duty at each of the three missions 
of the district, San Diego, San Juan Capistrano 
and San Gabriel ; while four served at the pueblo 
of Los Angeles, thus leaving a sergeant, two 
corporals and about twenty-five men to garrison 
the fort, care for the horses and a small herd of 
cattle, and to carry the mails, which latter dut) 
was the hardest connected with the presidio 
service in time of peace. There were a carpenter 
and blacksmith constantly employed, besides a 
few servants, mosth nativ< ion of 

the district in 1790, not including Indians, was 

Before the close of the century the wooden 
palisades had been replaced by a thick adobe 

♦Bancroft's History of California. Vol. I. 


wall, but even then the fort was not a very for- 
midable defense. Vancouver, the English navi- 
gator, who visited it in 1793, describes it as 
"'irregularly built on very uneven ground, which 
makes it liable to some inconveniences without 
the obvious appearance of any object for select- 
ing such a spot." It then mounted three small 
brass cannon. 

Gradually a town grew up around the pre- 
sidio. Robinson, who visited San Diego in 
[829, thus describes it: "On the lawn beneath 
the hill on which the presidio is built stood 
about thirty houses of rude appearance, mostly 
occupied by retired veterans, not so well con- 
structed in respect either to beauty or stability 
as the houses at Monterey, with the exception of 
that belonging to our Administrador, Don Juan 
Bandini, whose mansion, then in an unfinished 
state, bid fair, when completed, to surpass any 
other in the countr) ." 

Under Spain there was attempt at least to 
keep the presidio in repair, but under Mexican 
domination it fell into decay. Dana describes it 
as he saw it in 1836: "The first place we went 
to was the old ruinous presidio, which stands on 
rising ground near the village which it over- 
looks. It is built in the form of an open square, 
like all the other presidios, and was in a most 
ruinous state, with, the exception of one side, 
in which the comandante lived with his family. 
There were only two guns, one of which was 
spiked and the other had no carriage. Twelve 
half clothed and half starved looking fellows 
composed the garrison; and they, it was said, 
had 11., t a musket apiece. The small settlement 
lav directly below the fort composed of about 
fort) dark brown looking huts or houses and 
three or four larger ones whitewashed, which 
d to the -elite de razon." 


In a previous chapter has been narrated the 
Stori oi Portola's expedition in search of Mon- 
terey Bay, how the e\plorer>. failing to recog- 
nize it, passed on to the northward and discov- 
ered the greal Ba) of San Francisco. On their 
return the) set up a cross at what they supposed 
was the Baj of Monterey: and at the of 
the cross buried a letter giving information to 

any ship that might come up the coast in search 
of them that they had returned to San Diego. 
They had continually been on the lookout for 
the San Jose, which was to co-operate with 
them, but that vessel had been lost at sea with 
all on board. On their return to San Diego, in 
January. 1770, preparations were made for a 
return as soon as a vessel should arrive. It 
was not until the 16th of April that the San An- 
tonia. the only vessel available, was ready to 
depart for the second objective point of settle- 
ment. On the 17th of April, Governor Portola, 
Lieutenant Fages, Father Crespi and nineteen 
soldiers took up their line of inarch for Monte- 
rey. They followed the trail made in 1769 and 
reached the point where they had set up the 
cross April 24. They found it decorated with 
feathers, bows and arrows and a string of fish. 
Evidently the Indians regarded it as the white 
man's fetich and tried to propitiate it by offer- 

The San Antonia, bearing Father Serra, 
Pedro Prat, the surgeon, and Miguel Constanso, 
the civil engineer, and supplies for the mission 
and presidio, arrived the last day of May. Por- 
tola was still uncertain whether this was really 
Monterey Bay. It was hard to discover in the 
open roadstead stretching out before them Vis- 
caino's land-locked harbor, sheltered from all 
winds. After the arrival of the San Antonia the 
officers of the land and sea expedition made a 
reconnaissance of the bay and all concurred that 
at last they had reached the destined port. They 
located the oak under whose wide-spreading 
branches Padre Ascension, Yiscaino's chaplain, 
had celebrated mass in 1602, and the springs of 
fresh water near by. Preparations were begun 
at once for the founding of mission and presidio. 
A shelter of boughs was constructed, an altar 
raised and the bells hung upon the branch of a 
tree. Father Serra sang mass and as they had 
no musical instrument, salvos of artillery and 
volleys of musketry furnished an accompani- 
ment to the service. After the religious services 
the royal standard was raised and Governor 
Portola took possession of the country in the 
name of Kin- Carlos 111.. King of Spain. The 
ceremoii) closed with the pulling of grass and 
the casting of stones around, significant of en- 



tire possession of the earth and its products. 
After the service all feasted. 

Two messengers were sent by Portola with 
dispatches to the city of Mexico. A day's jour- 
ney below San Diego they met Rivera and 
twenty soldiers coming with a herd of cattle and 
a flock of sheep to stock the mission pastures. 
Rivera sent back five of his soldiers with Por- 
tola's carriers. The messengers reached Todos 
Santos near Cape San Lucas in forty-nine days 
from Monterey. From there the couriers w : ere 
sent to San Bias by ship, arriving at the city of 
Mexico August 10. There was great rejoicing 
at the capital. Marquis Le Croix and Yisitador 
Galvez received congratulations in the King's 
name for the extension of his domain. 

Portola superintended the building of some 
rude huts for the shelter of the soldiers, the 
officers and the padres. Around the square 
containing the huts a palisade of poles was con- 
structed. ' July 9, Portola having turned over 
the command of the troops to Lieutenant Pages, 
embarked on the San Antonia for San Bias; 
with him went the civil engineer, Constanso, 
from whose report I have frequently quoted. 
Neither of them ever returned to California. 

The difficult} of reaching California by ship 
on account of the head winds that blow down 
the coast caused long delays in the arrival oi 
vessels with supplies. This brought about a 
scarcity of provisions at the presidios and mis- 

In 1772 the padres of San Gabriel were re- 
duced to a milk diet and what little they could 
obtain from the Indians. At Monterey and San 
Antonio the padres and the soldiers were obliged 
to live on vegetables. In this emergency Lieu- 
tenant Pages and a squad of soldiers went on a 
bear hunt. They spent three months in the 
summer of 1772 killing bears in the Canada de 
los Osos (Bear Canon). The soldiers and mis- 
sionaries had a plentiful supply of bear meat. 
There were not enough cattle in the countr) 1-1 
admit of slaughtering any for food. The pre- 
sidial walls which were substituted for the pal- 
isades were built of adobes and stone. The 
inclosure measured one hundred and ten yards 
011 each side. The buildings were roofed with 
tiles. "On the north were the main entrance. 

the guard house, and the warehouses ; on the 
west the houses of the governor comandante 
and other officers, some fifteen apartments in 
all; on the east nine houses for soldiers, and a 
blacksmith shop; and on the south, besides 
nine similar houses, was the presidio church, 
opposite the main gateway."* 

The military force at the presidio consisted of 
cavalry, infantry and artillery, their numbers 
varying from one hundred to one hundred and 
twenty in all. These soldiers furnished guards 
for the missions of San Carlos, San Antonio, 
San Miguel, Soledad and San Luis Obispo. The 
total population of gente de razon in the district 
at the close of the century numbered four hun- 
dren and ninety. The rancho "del rey" or 
rancho of the king was located where Salinas 
City now stands. This rancho was managed by 
the soldiers of presidio and was intended to 
furnish the military with meat and a supply of 
horses for the cavalry. At the presidio a num- 
ber of invalided soldiers who had served out 
their time were settled; these were allowed to 
cultivate land and raise cattle on the unoccu- 
pied lands of the public domain. A town grad- 
ually grew up around the presidio square. 

Vancouver, the English navigator, visited the 
presidio of Monterey in 1792 and describes it as 
it then appeared: "The buildings of the pre- 
sidio form a parallelogram or long square com- 
prehending an area of about three hundred 
yards long by two hundred and fifty wide, mak- 
ing one entire enclosure. The external wall is 
of the same magnitude and built with the same 
materials, and except that the officers' apart- 
ments are covered with red tile made in the 
neighborhood, the whole presents the same 
lonely, uninteresting appearance as that already 
described at San Francisco. Like that estab- 
lishment, the several buildings for the use of the 
officers, soldiers, an ! tor the protection of stores 
and provisions are erected along the wall- on 
the inside of the inclosure, which admits of but 
one entrance for carriages or persons on 
back: this, as at San Francisco, is on the side 
of the square fronting the church which was 
rebuilding with -tone like thai at San ( 

croft's Hi-!- 



"At each comer of the square is a small kind 
of block house raised a little above the top of 
the wall where swivels might be mounted, for its 
protection. On the outside, before the entrance 
into the presidio, which fronts the shores of 
the bay. are placed seven cannon, four nine and 
three three-pounders, mounted. The guns are 
planted on the open plain ground without 
breastwork or other screen for those employed 
in working them or the least protection from the 


In a previous chapter I have given an account 
of the discovery of San Francisco Bay by Por- 
tola's expedition in 1769. The discovery of that 
great bay seems to have been regarded as an 
unimportant event by the governmental offi- 
cials. While there was great rejoicing at the 
city of Mexico over the founding of a mission 
for the conversion of a few naked savages, the 
discovery of the bay was scarcely noticed, ex- 
cept to construe it into some kind of a miracle. 
Father Serra assume,! that St. Francis had con- 
cealed Monterey from the explorers and led 
them to the discovery of the bay in order that 
lie (St. Francis) might have a mission named 
for him. Indeed, the only use to which the 
discovery could be put, according to Serra's 
ideas, was a site for a mission on its shores, dedi- 
cated to the founder of the Franciscans. Several 
explorations were made with this in view. In 
1772, Lieutenant Fages, Father Crespi and six- 
teen soldiers passed up the western side of the 
bay and in 1774 Captain Rivera, Father Palou 
and a squad of soldiers passed up the eastern 
shore, returning by way of Monte Diablo, 
Amador valley and Alameda creek to the Santa 
Clara valley. 

In the latter part of the year 1774, viceroy 
Bucureli ordered the founding of a mission and 
pre Tlio at San Francisco. Hitherto all explora- 
tions of the bay had been made by land expedi- 
tions. No one had ventured on its waters. In 
1775 Lieutenant Juan <le Ayala of the royal 
navy was sent in the old pioneer mission ship, 
the San Carlos, to make a survey of it. August 
5. 1775, he passed through the ( '.olden Gate. 
He moored his ship at an island called by him 

Nuestra Sehora de los Angeles, now Angel 
Island. He spent forty days in making explora- 
tions. His ship was the first vessel to sail upon 
the great Bay of San Francisco. 

In 1774, Captain Juan Bautista de Anza, com- 
mander of the presidio of Tubac in Sonora, had 
made an exploration of a route from Sonora via 
the Colorado river, across the desert and 
through the San Gorgonia pass to San Gabriel 
mission. From Tubac to the Colorado river the 
route hail been traveled before but from the 
Colorado westward the country was a terra in- 
cognita. He was guided over this by a lower 
California neophyte who had deserted from San 
Gabriel mission and alone had reached the 
rancherias on the Colorado. 

After Anza's return to Sonora he was com- 
missioned by the viceroy to recruit soldiers and 
settlers for San Francisco. October 23, 1775, 
Anza set out from Tubac with an expedition 
numbering two hundred and thirty-five persons, 
composed of soldiers and their families, colon- 
ists, musketeers and vaqueros. They brought 
with them large herds of horses, mules and cat- 
tle. The journey was accomplished without loss 
of life, but with a considerable amount of suf- 
fering. January 4. 1776, the immigrants ar- 
rived at San Gabriel mission, where they stopped 
to rest, but were soon compelled to move on, 
provisions at the mission becoming scarce. They 
arrived at Monterey March 10. Here they went 
into camp. Anza with an escort of soldiers pro- 
ceeded to San Francisco to select a presidio 
site. Having found a site he returned to Mon- 
terey. Rivera, the commander of the territory, 
had manifested a spirit of jealousy toward Anza 
and had endeavored to thwart him in his at- 
tempts to found a settlement. Disgusted with 
the action of the commander, Anza, leaving his 
colonists to the number of two hundred at Mon- 
terey took his departure from California. Anza 
in his explorations for a presidio site had fixed 
upon what is now Fort Point. 

\iter his departure Rivera experienced a 
change of heart and instead of trying to dela) 
the founding he did everything to hasten it. The 
.imperative orders of the viceroy received at 
aboul this time brought about the change. He 
ordered Lieutenant Moraga, to whom Anza had 



turned over the command of his soldiers and 
colonists, to proceed at once to San Francisco 
with twenty soldiers to found the fort. The San 
Carlos, which had just arrived at Monterey, was 
ordered to proceed to San Francisco to assist 
in the founding. Moraga with his soldiers ar- 
rived June 27, and encamped on the Laguna 
de los Dolores, where the mission was a short 
time afterwards founded. Moraga decided to 
located the presidio at the site selected by Anza 
but awaited the arrival of the San Carlos before 
proceeding to build. August 18 the vessel ar- 
rived. It had been driven down the coast to the 
latitude of San Diego by contrary winds and 
then up the coast to latitude 42 degrees. On the 
arrival of the vessel work was begun at once on 
the fort. A square of ninety-two varas (two 
hundred and forty-seven feet) on each side was 
inclosed with palisades. Barracks, officers' 
quarters and a chapel were built inside the 
square. September 17, 1776, was set apart for 
the services of founding, that being the da) of 
the "Sores of our seraphic father St. Francis." 
The royal standard was raised in front of the 
square and the usual ceremony of pulling grass 
and throwing stones was performed. Posses- 
sion of the region round about was taken in the 
name of Carlos III., King of Spain. Over one 
hundred and fifty persons witnessed the cere- 
mony. Vancouver, who visited the presidio in 
November, 1792, describes it as a "square area 
whose sides were about two hundred yards in 
length, enclosed by a mud wall and resembling 
a pound for cattle. Above this wall the thatched 
roofs of the low small houses just made their 
appearance." The wall was "about fourteen feet 
high and five feet in breadth and was first 
formed by upright and horizontal rafters of 
large timber, between which dried sods and 
moistened earth were pressed as close and hard 
as possible, after which the whole was cased with 
the earth made into a sort of mud plaster which 
gave it the appearance of durability." 

In addition to the presidio there was another 
fort at Fort Point named Castillo de San Joa- 
quin. It was completed and blessed December 
8, 1794. "It was of horseshoe shape, about one 
hundred by one hundred and twenty feet." The 
structure rested mainly on sand: the brick-faced 

adobe walls crumbled at the shock whenever a 
salute was fired; the guns were badly mounted 
and for the most part worn out, only two of the 
thirteen twenty-four-pounders being serviceable 
or capable of sending a ball across the entrance 
of the fort.* 


Cabrillo, in 1542, found a large Indian popula- 
tion inhabiting the main land of the Santa Bar- 
bara channel. Two hundred and twenty-seven 
years later, when Portola made his exploration, 
apparently there had been no decrease in the 
number of inhabitants. No portion of the coast 
offered a better field for missionary labor and 
Father Serra was anxious to enter it. In ac- 
cordance with Governor Felipe de Neve's report 
of 1777, it had been decided to found three mis- 
sions and a presidio on the channel. Various 
causes had delayed the founding ami it was not 
until April 17. 1782, that Governor de Neve 
arrived at the point where he had decided to 
locate the presidio of Santa Barbara. The 
troops that were to man the fort reached San 
Gabriel in the fall of 1781. It was thought best 
for them to remain there until the rainy sea- 
son was over. March 26, 1782, the governor and 
Father Serra, accompanied by the largest body 
of troops that had ever before been collected in 
California, set out to found the mission of San 
Buenaventura and the presidio. The governor, 
as has been stated in a former chapter, was re- 
called to San Gabriel. The mission was founded 
and the governor having rejoined the cavalcade 
a few weeks later proceeded to find a location 
for the presidio. 

"On reaching a point nine leagues from San 
Buenaventura, the governor called a halt and in 
company with Father Serra at once procei 
select a site for the presidio. The choice re- 
sulted in the adoption of the square now 
formed by city blocks 130. 140, 155 anil 150. 
and bounded in common by the following 
streets: Figueroa, Canon Perdido, Garden and 
Anacapa. A large community of Indians were 
residing there but orders were given to leave 
them undisturbed. M>. soldiers were at once 



directed to hew timbers and gather brush to 
erect temporary barracks which, when com- 
pleted, were also used as a chapel. A large 
wooden cross was made that it might be planted 
in the center of the square and possession of 
the country was taken in the name of the cross, 
the emblem of Christianity. 

April 21, 1782, the soldiers formed a square 
and with edifying solemnity raised the cross and 
secured it in the earth. Father Serra blessed 
and consecrated the district and preached a ser- 
mon. The royal standard of Spain was un- 

An inclosure, sixty varas square, was made of 
palisades. The Indians were friendly, and 
through their chief yanoalit, who controlled thir- 
teen rancherias, details of them were secured 
to assist the soldiers in the work of building. 
The natives were paid in food and clothing for 
their labor. 

Irrigation works were constructed, consisting 
of a large reservoir made of stone and cement, 
with a zanja for conducting water to the pre- 
sidio. The soldiers, who had families, cultivated 
small gardens which aided in their support. 
Lieutenant ( )rtega was in command of the pre- 
sidio for two years after its founding. He was 
succeeded by Lieutenant Felipe de Goycoechea. 
After the. founding of the mission in [786, a 
bitter feud broke out between the padres and 
the comandante of the presidio. Goycoechea 
claimed the right to employ the Indians in the 
building of the presidio as he had dune before 
the coming of the friars. This they denied. 
After an acrimonious controversy the dispute 
was finally compromised by dividing the Indian- 
into two bands, a mission band and a presidio 

Gradually the palisades were replaced by an 
adobe wall twelve feet high. It had a stone 
foundation and was strongly built. The plaza or 
inclosed square was three hundred and thirty 
feet on each side. On two -ides of this inclos- 
ure were ranged the family houses of the sol- 
diers, averaging in size 15x25 feet. < )n one side 
1 I th< -mm ei's' quarters and the church. ( >n 

Father Cabelleria's Hi tor} oi Santa Barbara. 

the remaining side were the main entrance four 
varas wide, the store rooms, soldiers' quarters 
and a guard room; and adjoining these outside 
the walls were the corrals for cattle and horses. 
A force of from fifty to sixty soldiers was kept 
at the post. There were bastions at two of the 
corners for cannon. 

The presidio was completed about 1790, with 
the exception of the chapel, which was not fin- 
ished until i/'j". Many of the soldiers when 
they had served out their time desired to re- 
main in the country. These were given permis- 
sion to build houses outside the walls of the 
presidio and in course of time a village grew up 
around it. 

At the close of the century the population of 
the gente de razon of the district numbered 
three hundred and seventy. The presidio when 
completed was the best in California. Van- 
couver, the English navigator, who visited it in 
November, 1793, says of it: "The buildings ap- 
peared to be regular and well constructed; the 
walls clean and white and the roofs of the houses 
were covered with a bright red tile. The pre- 
sidio excels all the others in neatness, cleanli- 
ness and other smaller though essential com- 
forts; it is placed on an elevated part of the 
plain and is raised some feet from the ground 
by a basement story which adds much to its 

During the Spanish regime the settlement at 
the presidio grew in the leisurely way that all 
Spanish towns grew in California. There was 
but little immigration from Mexico and about 
the only source of increase was from invalid 
soldiers and the children of the soldiers grow- 
ing up to manhood and womanhood. It was a 
dreary and monotonous existence that the sol- 
diers led at the presidios. A few of them had 
their families with them. These when the coun- 
try became more settled had their own houses 
adjoining the presidio and formed the nuclei 
of the towns that grew up around the different 
forts. There was l, u t little fighting to do and 
tlie soldiers' service consisted mainly of a round 
of guard duty at the forts and missions. Oc- 
casionallj there were conquistas into the In- 
dian country to secure new material for con- 
verts from the gentiles. The soldiers were oc- 



casionally employed in hunting hindas or run- 
aways from the missions. These when brought 
back were thoroughly flogged and compelled to 
wear clogs attached to their legs. Once a month 
the soldier couriers brought up from Loreta a 
budget of mail made up of official bandos and a 

few letters. These contained about all the news 
that reached them from their old homes in 
Mexico. But few of the soldiers returned to 
Mexico when their term of enlistment expired. 
In course of time these and their descendants 
formed the bulk of California's population. 



THE pueblo plan of colonization so com- 
mon in Hispano-American countries did 
not originate with the Spanish-Amer- 
ican colonists. It was older even than Spain 
herself. In early European colonization, the 
pueblo plan, the common square in the center 
of the town, the house lots grouped round it, 
the arable fields and the common pasture lands 
beyond, appears in the Aryan village, in the an- 
cient German mark and in the old Roman 
praesidium. The Puritans adopted this form in 
their first settlements in Xew England. Around 
the public scpiare or common where stood the 
meeting house and the town house, they laid off 
their home lots and beyond these were their 
cultivated fields and their common pasture lands. 
This form of colonization was a combination of 
communal interests and individual ownership. 
Primarily, no doubt, it was adopted for protec- 
tion against the hostile aborigines of the coun- 
try, and secondly for social advantage. It re- 
versed the order of our own western coloniza- 
tion. The town came first, it was the initial 
point from which the settlement radiated: while 
with our western pioneers the town was an after- 
thought, a center point for the convenience of 

When it had been decided to send colonists 
to colonize California the settlements naturally 
took the pueblo form. The difficulty of obtain- 
ing regular supplies for the presidios front Mex- 
ico, added to the great expense of shipping such 
a long distance, was the principal cause that in- 
fluenced the government to establish pueblos de 
gente de razon. The presidios received their 
shipments of grain for breadstuff from San Bias 

by sailing vessels. The arrival of these was un- 
certain. Unce when the vessels were unusually 
long in coming, the padres and the soldiers at 
the presidios and missions were reduced to liv- 
ing on milk, bear meat and what provisions they 
could obtain from the Indians. 'When Felipe de 
Xeve was made governor of Aha or Nueva 
California in 1776 he was instructed by the vice- 
roy to make observations on the agricultural 
possibilities of the country and the feasibility of 
founding pueblos where grain could be produced 
to supply the military establishments. 

On his journey from San Diego to San Fran- 
cisco in 1777 he carefully examined the coun- 
try; and as a result of his observations recom- 
mended the founding of two pueblos; one on the 
Rio de Porciuncula in the south, and the other 
on the Rio de Guadalupe in the north. I >n the 
29th of November, 1777. the Pueblo of San 
Jose de Guadelupe was Founded. Hie colonists 
were nine of the presidio soldiers from San 
Francisco and Monterey, who had some knowl- 
edge of farming and live of Anza's pobladores 
who had come with his expedition the previous 
years to found the presidio of San Francisco, 
making with their families sixty-one persons in 
ail. The pueblo was named for the patron saint 
of Calif irnia, San Jose (St. Joseph), husband of 
Santa Maria. Queen of the Angeles. 

The site selected for the town was about a 
mile and a quarter north of the center of the 
present city. Tin first houses were built >n' pal- 
isades and the interstices plastered with mud. 
These huts were- roofed with earth and the floor 
was the hard beaten ground. Each head of a 
family was given a suerte or sowing lot of two 



hundred varas square, a house lot, "ten dollars 
a month and a soldier's rations." Each, also, 
received a yoke of oxen, two cows, a mule, two 
sheep and two goats, together with the neces- 
sary implements and seed, all of which were to 
be repaid in products of the soil delivered at the 
royal warehouse. The first communal work 
done by the pobladores (colonists) was to dam 
the river, and construct a ditch to irrigate their 
sowing fields. The dam was not a success and 
the first sowing of grain was lost. The site se- 
lected for the houses was low and subject to 
overflow 7 . 

During wet winters the inhabitants were com- 
pelled to take a circuitous route of three leagues 
to attend church service at the mission of Santa 
Clara. After enduring this state of affairs 
through seven winters they petitioned the 
governor for permission to remove the pu- 
eblo further south on higher ground. The gov- 
ernor did not have power to grant the request. 
The petition was referred to the comandante- 
general of the Intendencia in Mexico in 1785. 
He seems to have studied over the matter two 
years and having advised with the asesor-general 
"finally issued a decree, June 21, 1787, to Gov- 
ernor Fages, authorizing the settlers to remove 
to the "adjacent loma (hill) selected by them as 
more useful and advantageous without chang- 
ing or altering, for this reason, the limits and 
boundaries of the territory or district assigned 
to said settlement and to the neighboring Mis- 
sion of Santa Clara, as there is no just cause 
why the latter should attempt to appropriate to 
herself that land." 

Having frequently suffered from floods, it 
would naturally be supposed that the inhabi- 
tants, permission being granted, moved right 
away. They did nothing of the kind. Ten years 
passed and they were still located on the old 
marshy site, still discussing the advantages of 
the new site on the other side of the river. 
Whether the padres of the Mission of Santa 
Clara opposed the moving does not appear in 
the records, but from the last clause of tin- com- 
andante-general's decree in which he says "there 
is nnt just cause why the latter i the Mission of 
Santa Clara) should attempt to appropriate to 
herself the land," it would seem that the mission 

padres were endeavoring to secure the new site 
or at least prevent its occupancy. There was a 
dispute between the padres and the pobladores 
over the boundary line between the pueblo and 
mission that outlived the century. After hav- 
ing been referred to the titled officials, civil and 
ecclesiastical, a boundary line was finally estab- 
lished, July 24, 1801, that was satisfactory to 
both. "According to the best evidence I have 
discovered," says Hall in his History of San 
Jose, "the removal of the pueblo took place in 
1707." just twenty years after the founding. In 
1798 the juzgado or town hall was built. It 
was located on Market street near El Dorado 

The area of a pueblo was four square leagues 
(Spanish) or about twenty-seven square miles. 
This was sometimes granted in a square and 
sometimes in a rectangular form. The pueblo 
lands were divided into classes: Solares, house 
lots; suertes (chance), sowing fields, so named 
because they were distributed by lot; propios, 
municipal lands or lands the rent of which went 
to defray municipal expenses; ejidas, vacant 
suburbs or commons; dehesas, pasture where 
the large herds of the pueblo grazed; realenges, 
nival lands also used for raising revenue; these 
were unappropriated lands. 

From various causes the founding of the sec- 
ond pueblo had been delayed. In the latter part 
of 1779, active preparations were begun for car- 
rying out the plan of founding a presidio and 
three missions on the Santa Barbara Channel 
and a pueblo on the Rio Forciuncula to be 
named "Reyna de Los Angeles." The comand- 
ante-general of the Four Interior Provinces of 
the West (which embraced the Californias, So- 
nora, Xew Mexico and Viscaya), Don Teodoro 
de Croix or "El Cavallero de Croix," "The 
Knight of the Cross," as he usually styled him- 
self, gave instructions to Don Fernando de Ri- 
vera v Moncada to recruit soldiers and settlers 
for the proposed presidio and pueblo in Xueva 
California. 1 le, Rivera, crossed the gulf and be- 
gart recruiting in Sonora and Sinaloa. His in- 
structions were to secure twenty-four settlers, 
whn were heads of families. They must be ro- 
bust and well behaved, so that they might set 
a good example to the natives. Their families 


must accompany them and unmarried female 
relatives must be encouraged to go, with the 
view to marrying them to bachelor sol- 

According to the regulations drafted by Gov- 
ernor Felipe de Neve, June i, 1779, for the gov- 
ernment of the province of California and ap- 
proved by the king, in a royal order of the 24th 
of October, 1781, settlers in California from the 
older provinces were each to be granted a house 
lot and a tract of land for cultivation. Each 
poblador in addition was to receive $116.50 a 
year for the first two years, "the rations to be 
understood as comprehended in this amount, 
and in lieu of rations for the next three years 
they will receive $60 yearly." 

Section 3 of Title 14 of the Reglamento pro- 
vided that "To each poblador and to the com- 
munity of the pueblo there shall be given under 
condition of repayment in horses and mules fit 
to be given and received, and in the payment of 
the other large and small cattle at the just prices, 
which are to be fixed by tariff, and of the tools 
and implements at cost, as it is ordained, two 
mares, two cows, and one calf, two sheep and 
two goats, all breeding animals, and one yoke of 
oxen or steers, one plow point, one hoe, one 
spade, one axe, one sickle, one wood knife, one 
musket and one leather shield, two horses and 
one cargo mule. To the community there shall 
likewise be given the males corresponding to 
the total number of cattle of different kinds dis- 
tributed amongst all the inhabitants, one forge 
and anvil, six crowbars, six iron spades or shov- 
els and the necessary tools for carpenter and 
cast work." For the government's assistance to 
the pobladores in starting their colony the set- 
tlers were required to sell to the presidios the 
surplus products of their lands and herds at fair 
prices, which were to be fixed by the govern- 

The terms offered to the settlers were cer- 
tainly liberal, and by our own hardy pioneers, 
who in the closing years of the last century were 
making their way over the Alleghany mountains 
into Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, they would 
have been considered munificent; but to the in- 
dolent and energyless mixed breeds of Sonora 
and Sinaloa thev were no inducement. After 

spending nearly nine months in recruiting, Ri- 
vera was able to obtain only fourteen pobladores, 
but little over half the number required, and two 
of these deserted before reaching California. 
The soldiers that Rivera had recruited for Cal- 
ifornia, forty-two in number, with their families, 
were ordered to proceed overland from Alamos, 
in Sonora, by way of Tucson and the Colorado 
river to San Gabriel Mission. These were com- 
manded by Rivera in person. 

Leaving Alamos in April, 1781, they arrived 
in the latter part of June at the junction of the 
Gila and Colorado rivers. After a short delay 
to rest, the main company was sent on to San 
Gabriel Mission. Rivera, with ten or twelve 
soldiers, remained to recruit his live stock before 
crossing the desert. Tw-o missions had been es- 
tablished on the California side of the Colorado 
the previous year. Before the arrival of Rivera 
the Indians had been behaving badly. Rivera's 
large herd of cattle and horses destroyed the 
mesquite trees and intruded upon the Indians' 
melon patches. This, with their previous quar- 
rel with the padres, provoked the savages to an 
uprising. They, on July 17, attacked the two 
missions, massacred the padres and the Spanish 
settlers attached to the missions and killed Ri- 
vera and his soldiers, forty-six persons in all. 
The Indians burned the mission buildings. 
These were never rebuilt nor was there any at- 
tempt made to convert the Yumas. The hos- 
tility of the Yumas practicall) closed the Colo- 
rado route to California for many years. 

The pobladores who had been recruited for 
the founding of the new pueblo, with their fami- 
lies and a military escort. all under the command 
of Lieut. Jose Zuniga. crossed the gulf from 
Guaymas to Loreto, in Lower California, and 1>> 
the 16th of May were ready for their long jour 
ney northward. In the meantime two of the re- 
cruits had deserted and one was left behind at 
Loreto. On the [8th of August the eleven who 
had remained faithful to their contract, with 
their families, arrived at San Gabriel. On ac- 
count of smallpox among some of the children 
the 1 ompanj was pla intine about a 

league from the mission. 

On the 26th of August, 1781, from San Ga- 
briel, Governor de Neve issued his instructions 



for the founding of Los Angeles, which gave 
some additional rules in regard to the distribu- 
tion of lots not found in the royal reglamento 
previously mentioned. 

( In the 4th of September, 1781, the colonists, 
with a military escort headed by Governor Fe- 
lip de Neve, took up their line of march from 
the Mission San Gabriel to the site selected for 
their pueblo on the Rio de Porciuncula. There, 
with religious ceremonies, the Pueblo de Nues- 
tra Senora La Reina de Los Angeles was for- 
mally founded. A mass was said by a priest 
from the Mission San Gabriel, assisted by the 
choristers and musicians of that mission. There 
were salvos of musketry and a procession with 
a cross, candlestick, etc. At the head of the 
procession the soldiers bore the standard of 
Spain and the women followed bearing a ban- 
ner with the image of our Lady the Queen of 
the Angels. This procession made a circuit of 
the plaza, the priest blessing it and the building 
lots. At the close of the services Governor de 
Neve made an address full of good advice to the 
colonists. Then the governor, his military es- 
corj and the priests returned to San Gabriel and 
the colonists were left to work out their 

Few of the great cities of the land have had 
such humble founders as Los Angeles. Of the 
eleven pobladores who built their huts of poles 
and tule thatch around the plaza vieja one hun- 
dred and twenty-two years ago, not one could 
read or write. Not one could boast of an un- 
mixed ancestry. They were mongrels in race, 
Caucasian, Indian and Negro mixed. Poor in 
purse, poor in blood, poor in all the sterner qual- 
ities of character that our own hardy pioneers 
of the wot possessed, they left no impress on 
the city they founded; and the conquering race 
that possesses the land that they colonized has 
for-.. t ten them. No street or landmark in the 
city bears the name of any one of them. No 
monument or tablet marks the spot where they 
planted the germ of their settlement. No Fore- 
fathers' daj preserves the memory of their serv- 
ice- and sacrifices. Their name-, race and the 
number of persons in each family have been 
preserved in the archives of California. They 
are as follows: 

i. Jose de Lara, a Spaniard (or reputed to be 
"lie. although it is doubtful whether he was of 
pure blood) had an Indian wife and three chil- 

-'. Jose Antonio Navarro, a Mestizo, forty- 
two years old; wife a mulattress; three children. 

3. Pasilio Rosas, an Indian, sixty-eight years 
old, had a mulatto wife and two children. 

4. Antonio Mesa, a negro, thirty-eight years 
old; had a mulatto wife and two children. 

5. Antonio Felix Yillavicencio, a Spaniard, 
thirty years old; had an Indian wife and one 

6. Jose Yanegas, an Indian, twenty-eight 
years old; had an Indian wife and one child. 

7. Alejandro Rosas,an Indian, nineteen vcars 
old, and had an Indian wife. (In the records, 
' wife, Coyote-Indian.") 

8. Pablo Rodriguez, an Indian, twenty-five 
years old; had an Indian wife and one child. 

9. Manuel Camero, a mulatto, thirty years 
old; had a mulatto wife. 

10. Luis Ouintero, a negro, fifty-five years 
old, and had a mulatto wife and five children. 

1 1 . Jose Morena, a mulatto, twenty-two 
years old, and had a mulatto wife. 

Antonio Miranda, the twelfth person described 
in the padron (list) as a Chino, fifty years old 
and having one child, was left at Loreto when 
the expedition marched northward. It would 
have been impossible for him to have rejoined 
the colonists before the founding, Fresumablv 
his child remained with him, consequently there 
were but forty-four instead of "forty-six persons 
in all." Col. J. J. Warner, in his "Historical 
Sketch of Los Angeles," originated the fiction 
that one of the founders (Miranda, the Chino.) 
was born in China. Chino, while it does mean a 
( hiuaman, is also applied in Spanish-American 
countries to persons or animals having curly 
hair. Miranda was probably of mixed Spanish 
and Negro blood, and curly haired. There is 
no record to show that Miranda ever came to 
\lta California. 

When Jose de Galvez was fitting out the ex- 
pedition for occupying San Diego and Monte- 
rey, he issued a proclamation naming St. Jo- 
seph a- the patron saint of his California colon- 
ization scheme. Hearing this fact in mind, no 


doubt, Governor de Neve, when he founded San 
Jose, named St. Joseph its patron saint. Hav- 
ing named one of the two pueblos for San Jose 
it naturally followed that the other should be 
named for Santa Maria, the Queen of the An- 
gels, wife of San Jose. 

On the ist of August, 1769, Portola's expedi- 
tion, on its journey northward in search of Mon- 
terey Bay, had halted in the San Gabriel valley 
near where the Mission Yieja was afterwards lo- 
cated, to reconnoiter the country and "above 
all," as Father Crespi observes, "for the purpose 
of celebrating the jubilee of Our Lady of the 
Angels of Porciuncula." Xext day, August 2, 
after traveling about three leagues (nine miles). 
Father Crespi, in his diary, says: "We came to 
a rather wide Canada having a great many Cot- 
tonwood and alder trees. Through it ran a 
beautiful river toward the north-northeast and 
curving around the point of a cliff it takes a di- 
rection to the south. Toward the north-north- 
east we saw another river bed which must have 
been a great overflow, but we found it dry. This 
arm unites with the river and its great floods 
during the rainy season are clearly demon- 
strated by the many uprooted trees scattered 
along the banks." (This dry river is the Arroyo 
Seco.) "We stopped not very far from the river, 
to which we gave the name of Porciuncula." 
Porciuncula is the name of a hamlet in Italy- 
near which was located the little church of Our 
Lady of the Angels, in which St. Francis of As- 
sisi was praying when the jubilee was granted 
him. Father Crespi, speaking of the plain 
through which the river flows, says: "This is 
the best locality of all those we have yet seen 
for a mission, besides having all the resources 
required for a large town." Padre Crespi was 
evidently somewhat of a prophet. 

The fact that this locality had for a number 
of years borne the name of "( lur Lady of the 
Angels of Porciuncula" may have influenced 
Governor de Neve to locate his pueblo here. 
The full name of the town, El Pueblo de Nuestra 
Seiiora La Reyna de Los Angeles, was seldom 
used. It was too long for everyday use. In the 
earlier years of the town's history it seems to 
have had a variety of names. It appears in the 
records as El Pueblo de Nuestra Sefiora de I os 

Angeles, as El Pueblo de La Reyna de Los An- 
geles and as El Pueblo de Santa Maria de Los 
Angeles. Sometimes it was abbreviated to 
Santa Maria, but it was most commonly spoken 
of as El Pueblo, the town. At what time the 
name of Rio Porciuncula was changed to Rio' 
Los Angeles is uncertain. The change no doubt 
was gradual. 

The site selected for the pueblo of Lis An- 
geles was picturesque and romantic. From 
where Alameda street now is to the eastern 
bank of the river the land was covered with a 
dense growth of willows, cottonwoods and al- 
ders: while here and there, rising above the 
swampy copse, towered a giant aliso (sycamore I. 
Wild grapevines festooned the branches of the 
trees and wild roses bloomed in profusion. Be- 
hind the narrow shelf of mesa land where the 
pueblo was located rose the brown hills, and in 
the distance towered the lofty Sierra Madre 

The last pueblo founded in California undei 
Spanish domination was Villa de Branciforte, 
'ocated on the opposite side of the river from 
the Mission of Santa Cruz. It was named after 
the Viceroy Branciforte. It was designed as a 
coast defense and a place to colonize discharged 
soldiers. The scheme was discussed for a con 
siderable time before anything was done. Gov- 
ernor Borica recommended "that an adobe 
house be built for each settler so that the prev- 
alent state of things in San Jose and Los An- 
geles, where the settlers still live in tule huts, he 
ing unable to build better dwellings without 
neglecting their fields, may he prevented, the 
houses to cost not over two hundn 

The first detachment of the colonists arrived 
Ma\ u, 1707. on the Concepcion in a destitute 
condition. Lieutenant Moraga was sent to su 
perintend the construction of houses for the 
ci 1I1 mists. I le was instructed to build temporary 
huts for himself and the guard, then to build 
some larger buildings to accommodate fifteen or 
twenty families each. These were to he tem- 
porary. ( )nly nine families came and they were 
of a vagabond class that bad a constitutional 
antipathy to work. The settlers received 

•■Bancroft's 1 1 

of Califoi 



same amount of supplies and allowance of 
money as the colonists of San Jose and Los 
Angeles. Although the colonists were called 
Spaniards and assumed to be of a superior race 
to the first settlers of the other pueblos, they 
made less progress and were more unruly than 
the mixed and mongrel inhabitants of the older 

Although at the close of the century three 
decades had passed since the first settlement was 
made in California, the colonists had made but 
little progress. Three pueblos of gente de razon 
had been founded and a few ranchos granted to 
e*-soldiers. Exclusive of the soldiers, the white 
population in the year 1S00 did not exceed six 
hundred. The people lived in the most primi- 
tive manner. There was no commerce and no 
manufacturing except a little at the missions. 
Their houses were adobe huts roofed with tule 
thatch. The floor was the beaten earth and the 

scant furniture home-made. There was a scarcity 
of cloth for clothing. Padre Salazar relates that 
when he was at San Gabriei Mission in 1795 a 
man who had a thousand horses and cattle in 
proportion came there to beg cloth for a shirt, 
for none could be had at. the pueblo of Los An- 
geles nor at the presidio of Santa Barbara. 

Hermanagildo Sal, the comandante of San 
Francisco, writing to a friend in 1799. says, "I 
send you. by the wife of the pensioner Jose 
Barbo, one piece of cotton goods and an ounce 
of sewing silk. There are no combs and I have 
no hope of receiving any for three years." Think 
of waiting three years for a comb! 

Eighteen missions had been founded at the 
close of the century. Except at a few of the 
older missions, the buildings were temporary 
structures. The neophytes for the most part 
were living in wigwams constructed like those 
they had occupied in their wild state. 



THE Spaniards were not a commercial peo- 
ple. I heir great desire was to be let alone 
in their American possessions. Philip II. 
once promulgated a decree pronouncing death 
upon any foreigner who entered the Gulf of 
Mexico. It was easy to promulgate a decree or 
to pass restrictive laws against foreign trade, but 
quite another thing to enforce them. 

\iht the first settlement of California seven- 
teen years passed before a foreign vessel entered 
any of its ports. The first to arrive were the 
two vi ssels of the French explorer, La Perouse, 
who anchored in the harbor of Monterey, Sep- 
tember 15. 1786. Being of the same faith, and 
France having been an ally of Spain in former 
limes, he was well received. During his brief 
stay he made a study of the mission system and 
his observations on it are plainly given. He 
found a similarity in it to the slave plantations 
of Santo Domingo. November 14. 170J, the 
English navigator, Capt. George Vancouver, in 
the >liip Discovery, entered the l'a\ of San 

Francisco. He was cordially received by the 
comandante of the port, Hermanagildo Sal, and 
the friars of the mission. On the 20th of the 
month, with several of his officers, he visited the 
Mission of Santa Clara, where he was kindly 
treated. He also visited the Mission of San 
Carlos de Monterey. He wrote an interesting 
account of his visit and his observations on the 
country. Vancouver was surprised at the back- 
wardness of the country and the antiquated cus- 
toms of the people. He says: "Instead of find- 
ing a country tolerably well inhabited, and far 
advanced in cultivation, if we except its natural 
pastures, flocks of sheep and herds of cattle, 
there is not an object to indicate the most re- 
mote connection with any European or other 
civilized nation." On a subsequent visit. Cap- 
tain Vancouver met a chilly reception from the 
acting governor, Arrillaga. The Spaniards sus- 
pected him of spying out the weakness of their 
defenses. Through the English, the Spaniards 
became acquainted with the importance and 


value of the fur trade. The bays and lagoons of 
California abounded in sea otter. Their skins 
were worth in China all the way from $30 to 
$100 each. The trade was made a government 
monopoly. The skins were to be collected from 
the natives, soldiers and others by the mission- 
aries, at prices ranging from $2.50 to $10 each, 
and turned over to the government officials ap- 
pointed to receive them. All trade by private 
persons was prohibited. The government was 
sole trader. But the government failed to make 
the trade profitable. In the closing years of 
the century the American smugglers began to 
haunt the coast. The restrictions against trade 
with foreigners were proscriptive and the penal- 
ties for evasion severe, but men will trade under 
the most adverse circumstances. Spain was a 
long way off, and smuggling was not a very 
venal sin in the eyes of layman or churchman. 
Fast sailing vessels were fitted out in Boston 
for illicit trade on the California coast. Watch- 
ing their opportunities, these vessels slipped 
into the bays and inlets along the coast. There 
was a rapid exchange of Yankee notions for sea 
otter skins, the most valued peltry of California, 
and the vessels were out to sea before the rev- 
enue officers could intercept them. If success- 
ful in escaping capture, the profits of a smug- 
gling voyage were enormous, ranging from 500 
to 1,000 per cent above cost on the goods ex- 
changed; but the risks were great. The smug- 
gler had no protection ; he was an outlaw. He 
was the legitimate prey of the padres, the peo- 
ple and the revenue officers. The Yankee smug- 
gler usually came out ahead. His vessel was 
heavily armed, and when speed or stratagem 
[ailed he was ready to fight his way out of a 

Each year two ships were sent from San 
Bias with the memorias — mission and presidio 
supplies. These took back a small cargo of the 
products of the territory, wheat being the prin- 
cipal. This was all the legitimate commerce 
allowed California. 

The fear of Russian aggression had been one 
of the causes that had forced Spain to attempt 
the colonization of California. Bering, in 1741. 
had discovered the strait that bears his name 
and had taken possession, for the Russian gov 

eminent, of the northwestern coast of America. 
Four years later, the first permanent Russian 
settlement, Sitka, had been made on one of the 
coast islands. Rumors of the Russian explora- 
tions and settlements had reached Madrid and 
in 1774 Captain Perez, in the San Antonia, was 
sent up the coast to find out what the Russians 
were doing. 

Mad Russian America contained arable land 
where grain and vegetables could have been 
grown, it is probable that the Russians and 
Spaniards in America would not have come in 
contact; for another nation, the United States, 
had taken possession of the intervening coun- 
try, bordering the Columbia river. 

The supplies of breadstuffs for the Sitka col- 
onists had to be sent overland across Siberia 
or shipped around Cape Horn. Failure of sup- 
plies sometimes reduced the colonists to sore 
straits. In 1806, famine and diseases incident 
to starvation threatened the extinction of the 
Russian colony. Count Rezanoff, a high officer 
of the Russian government, had arrived at the 
Sitka settlement in September, 1805. The des- 
titution prevailing there induced him to visit 
California, with the hope of obtaining relief for 
the starving colonists. In the ship Juno (pur- 
chased from an American trader), with a scurvy 
afflicted crew, he made a perilous voyage down 
the stormy coast and on the 5th of April, 1806, 
anchored safely in the Bay of San Francisco. 
He had brought with him a cargo of goods for 
exchange but the restrictive commercial regula- 
tions of Spain prohibited trade with foreigners. 
Although the friars and the people needed the 
goods the governor could not allow the ex- 
change. Count Rezanoff would be permitted to 
purchase grain for cash, but the Russian's ex- 
chequer was nol plethoric and his ship was al- 
ready loaded with g Is. Love thai laughs at 

locksmiths eventually unlocked the sh 
that hampered commerce Rezanoff fell in love 
with Dona Concepcion, the beautiful daughter 
of Don Jose Arguello, the comandante of San 
Francisco, and an old lime friend of the gov- 
ernor, Vrrillaga. The attraction was mutual. 
Through the influem 1 ncepcion, the 

friars and \i gi \ ernor was ;• 

to sanction a plan by which cash was the sup- 



posed medium of exchange on both sides, but 
grain on the one side and goods on the other 
were the real currency. 

The romance of Rezanoff and Dona Concep- 
cion had a sad ending. On his journey through 
Siberia to St. Petersburg to obtain the consent 
of the emperor to his marriage he was killed 
by a fall from his horse. It was several years 
before the news of his death reached his af- 
fianced bride. Faithful to his memory, she never 
married, but dedicated her life to deeds of char- 
ity. After Rezanoff's visit the Russians came 
frequently to California, partly to trade, but 
more often to hunt otter. While on these fur 
hunting expeditions they examined the coast 
north of San Francisco with the design of plant- 
ing an agricultural colony where they could 
raise grain to supply the settlements in the far 
north. In 1812 they founded a town and built 
a fort on the coast north of Bodega Cay, which 
they named Ross. The fort mounted ten guns. 
They maintained a fort at Bodega Bay and also 
a small settlement on Russian river. The Span- 
iards protested against this aggression and 
threatened to drive the Russians out of the ter- 
ritory, but nothing came of their protests and 
they were powerless to enforce their demands. 
The Russian ships came to California for sup- 
plies and were welcomed by the people and the 
friars if not by the government officials. The 
Russian colony at Ross was not a success. The 
ignorant soldiers and the Aluets who formed 
the bulk of its three or four hundred inhab- 
itants, knew little or nothing about farming and 
were too stupid to learn. After the decline of 
fur hunting the settlement became unprofitable. 
In 1841 the buildings and the stock were sold 
by the Russian governor to ("apt. John A. Sut- 
ter for S^ The settlement was abandoned 
and the fort and tin- town arc in ruins. 

On the 15th of September, 1810, the patriot 
priest, .Miguel Hidalgo, struck the first blow 
for Mexican independence. The revolution 
which began in the province of Guanajuato was 
at firM regarded by the authorities as a mere 
riot of ignorant Indians thai would be speedily 
suppressed. But the insurrection spread rap- 
idly. Foul; years of oppression ami cruelty hail 
instilled into the hearts of the people an undy- 

ing hatred for their Spanish oppressors. Hidalgo 
soon found himself at the head of a motley 
army, poorly armed and undisciplined, but its 
numbers swept away opposition. Unfortunately 
through over-confidence reverses came and in 
March, 181 1, the patriots met an overwhelming 
defeat at the bridge of Calderon. Hidalgo was 
betrayed, captured and shot. Though sup- 
pressed for a time, the cause of independence 
was not lost. For eleven years a fratricidal war 
was waged — cruel, bloody and devastating. Al- 
lende, Alina. Moreles, Alama, Rayon and other 
patriot leaders met death on the field of battle 
or were captured and shot as rebels, but "Free- 
dom's battle" bequeathed from bleeding sire to 
son was won at last. 

Of the political upheavals that shook Spain 
in the first decades of the century only the faint- 
est rumblings reached far distant California. 
Notwithstanding the many changes of rulers 
that political revolutions and Napoleonic wars 
gave the mother country, the people of Califor- 
nia remained loyal to the Spanish crown, al- 
though at times they must have been in doubt 
who wore the crown. 

Arrillaga was governor of California when 
the war of Mexican independence began. Al- 
though born in Mexico he was of pure Spanish 
parentage and was thoroughly in sympathy with 
Spain in the contest. He did not live to see the 
end of the war. He died in 1814 and was suc- 
ceeded by Pablo Vicente de Sola. Sola was 
Spanish born and was bitterly opposed to the 
revolution, even going so far as to threaten 
death to any one who should speak in favor of 
it. Fie had received his appointment from 
Viceroy Calleja, the butcher of Guanajuato, the 
crudest and most bloodthirsty of the vice regal 
governors of new Spain. The friars were to a 
man loyal to Spain. The success of the repub- 
lic meant tin- downfall of their domination. 
The) hated republican ideas and regarded 
their dissemination as a crime. They were the 
ruling power in California. The governors 
and the people were subservient to their 

The decade between 1810 and 1820 was 
marked by two important events, the year of the 
earthquakes and the year of the insurgents. 



The year 1812 was the Ano de los Temblores. 
The seismic disturbance that for forty years or 
more had shaken California seemed to concen- 
trate in power that year and expend its force 
on the mission churches. The massive church 
of San Juan Capistrano, the pride of mission 
architecture, was thrown down ami forty per- 
sons killed. The wails of San Gabriel Mission 
were cracked and some of the saints shaken out 
of their niches. At San Buenaventura there 
were three heavy shocks which injured the 
church so that the tower and much of the facade 
had to be rebuilt. The whole mission site 
seemed to settle and the inhabitants, fearful 
that they might be engulfed by the sea, moved 
up the valley about two miles, where they re- 
mained three months. At Santa Barbara both 
church and the presidio were damaged and at 
Santa Inez the church was shaken down. The 
quakes continued for several months and the 
people were so terrified that they abandoned 
their houses and lived in the open air. 

The other important epoch of the decade was 
El Ano de los Insurgentes, the year of the in- 
surgents. In November, 18 18, Bouchard, a 
Frenchman in the service of Buenos Ayres and 
provided with letters of marque by San Mar- 
tain, the president of that republic, to prey upon 
Spanish commerce, appeared in the port of 
Monterey with two ships carrying sixty-six 
guns and three hundred and fifty men. He at- 
tacked Monterey and after an obstinate re- 
sistance by the Californians, it was taken by the 
insurgents and burned. Bouchard next pillaged 
Ortega's rancho and burned the buildings. 
Then sailing down the coast he scared the Santa 
Barbaranos; then keeping on down he looked 
into San Pedro, but finding nothing there to 
tempt him he kept on to San Juan Capistrano. 
There he landed, robbed the mission of a few 
articles and drank the padres' wine. Then he 
sailed away and disappeared. He left six of his 
men in California, among them Joseph Chap- 
man of Boston, the first American resident of 

In the early part of the last century there 
was a limited commerce with Lima. That 

being a Spanish dependency, trade with it was 
not prohibited. Gilroy, who arrived in Califor- 
nia in 1814. says in his reminiscences:* 

"The only article of export then was tallow, 
of which one cargo was sent annually to Callao 
in a Spanish ship. This tallow sold for $1.50 
per hundred weight in silver or $2.00 in trade 
or goods. Hides, except those used for tallow 
bags, were thrown away. Wheat, barley and 
beans had no market. Nearly everything con- 
sumed by the people was produced at home. 
There was no foreign trade." 

As the revolution in Mexico progressed 
times grew harder in California. The mission 
niemorias ceased to come. Xo tallow ships from 
Callao arrived. The soldiers' pay was years in 
arrears and their uniforms in rags. What little 
wealth there was in the country was in the 
hands of the padre.. 'I hey were supreme. "The 
friars," says Gilroy, "had even thin- their own 
way. The governor and the military were ex- 
pected to do whatever the friars requested. The 
missions contained all the wealth of the coun- 
try." The friars supported the government and 
supplied the troops with food from the products 
of the neophytes' labor. The crude manufac- 
turers of the missions supplied the people with 
cloth for clothing and some other necessities. 
The needs of the common people were easily 
satisfied. They were not used to Iuxurii 
were they accustomed to what we would now 
consider necessities. Gilroy, in the reminis- 
cences heretofore referred to, states that at the 
time of his arrival (1814) "There was not a saw- 
mill, whip .-aw or spoked wheel in California. 
Such lumber as was used was cut with an axe. 

Chairs, tables and w 1 flooi 

lound except in the governor's house. Plates 
were rare unless that name could be applied to 
the tiles used instead. Money was a rarity. 
There were no stores and no merchandise to 
sell. There was no employment for a laborer. 
The neophytes did all the work and all the busi- 
ness of tlie country was in the hands of the 

*Alta California, June 25, 1865. 




THE condition of affairs in California stead- 
ily grew worse as the revolution in Mex- 
ico progressed. Sola had made strenuous 
efforts to arouse the Spanish authorities of New 
Spain to take some action towards benefiting the 
territory. Alter the affair with the insurgent 
Bouchard he had appealed to the viceroy for re- 
inforcements. In answer to his urgent entreaties 
a force of one hundred men was sent from Ma- 
zatlan to garrison San Diego and an equal force 
from San Bias for Monterey. They reached Cal- 
ifornia in August, 1819, and Sola was greatly- 
rejoiced, but his joy was turned to deep disgust 
when he discovered the true character of the re- 
inforcement and arms sent him. The only equip- 
ments of the soldiers were a few hundred did 
worn-out sabers that Sola declared were unfit 
for sickles. He ordered them returned to the 
comandante of San Bias, who had sent them. 
The troops were a worse lot than the arms sent. 
They had been taken out of the prisons or con- 
scripted from the lowest class of the population 
of the cities. They were thieves, drunkards and 
vagabonds, who, as soon as landed, resorted to 
robberies, brawls and assassinations. Sola wrote 
to the viceroy that the outcasts called troops 
sent him from the jails of Tepic and San Bias 
by their vices caused continual disorders; their 
evil example had debauched the minds of the 
Indians and that the cost incurred in their col- 
let! inn ami transportation had been worse than 
thrown away, lie could not get rid of them, 
s<> he had to control them as best he could. 
Governor Sola labored faithfully to benefit the 
country over which be had been placed and to 
arouse the Spanish authorities in Mexico to do 
something tor the advancement of California; 
but the government did nothing. Indeed it was 
in no condition to ,1,. anything. The revolution 
would not down. No sooner was one revolution- 
ary leader suppressed and the rebellion ap- 
parently crushed than there was an uprising in 

some other part of the country under a new 

Ten years of intermittent warfare had been 
waged — one army of patriots after another had 
been defeated and the leaders shot; the strug- 
gle for independence was almost ended and the 
royalists were congratulating themselves on the 
triumph of the Spanish crown, when a sudden 
1 hange came and the vice regal government 
that lor three hundred years had swayed the 
destinies of Xew Spain went down forever. 
Agustin Iturbide, a colonel in the royal army, 
who in February, 1821, had been sent with a 
corps of five thousand men from the capital to 
the Sierras near Aeapulco to suppress Guerrero, 
the last of the patriot chiefs, suddenly changed 
his allegiance, raised the banner of the revolu- 
tion and declared for the independence of Mex- 
ico under the plan of Iguala, so named for the 
town where it was first proclaimed. The central 
ideas of the plan were "Union, civil and re- 
ligious liberty." 

There was a general uprising in all parts of 
the country and men rallied to the support of the 
Army of the Three Guarantees, religion, union, 
independence. Guerrero joined forces with 
Iturbide and September 21. 1821, at the head 
of sixteen thousand men, amid the rejoicing of 
the people, they entered the capital. The viceroy 
was compelled to recognize the independence of 
Mexico. A provisional government under a 
regency was appointed at first, but a few months 
later Iturbide was crowned emperor, taking the 
title of his most serene majesty, Agustin I., by 
divine providence and by the congress of the 
nation, first constitutional emperor of Mexico. 

Sola had heard rumors of the turn affairs 
were taking in Mexico, but he had kept the re- 
ports a secret and still hoped and prayed for 
the success of the Spanish arms. At length a 
vessel appeared in the harbor of Monterey float- 
ing an unknown flag, and cast anchor beyond 



the reach of the guns of the castillo. The sol- 
diers were called to arms. A boat from the ship 
put off for shore and landed an officer, who de- 
clared himself the bearer of dispatches to Don 
Pablo Vicente de Sola, the governor of the 
province. "I demand," said he, "to be con- 
ducted to his presence in the name of my sov- 
ereign, the liberator of Mexico, General Agustin 
de Iturbide." There was a murmur of applause 
from the soldiers, greatly to the surprise of their 
officers, who were all loyalists. Governor Sola 
was bitterly disappointed. Only a few days be- 
fore he had harangued the soldiers in the square 
of the presidio and threatened "to shoot down 
any one high or low without the formality of a 
trial who dared to say a word in favor of the 
traitor Iturbide." 

For half a century the banner of Spain had 
floated from the flag staff of the presidio of 
Monterey. Sadly Sola ordered it lowered and 
in its place was hoisted the imperial flag of the 
Mexican Empire. A few months pass, Iturbide 
is forced to abdicate the throne of empire and 
is banished from Mexico. The imperial stand- 
ard is supplanted by the tricolor of the republic. 
Thus the Californians, in little more than one 
year, have passed under three different forms 
of government, that of a kingdom, an empire 
and a republic, and Sola from the most 
loyal of Spanish governors in the kingdom 
of Spain has been transformed in a Mexican 

The friars, if possible, were more bitterly dis- 
appointed than the governor. They saw in the 
success of the republic the doom of their estab- 
lishments. Republican ideas were repulsive to 
them. Liberty meant license to men to think 
for themselves. The shackles of creed ami the 
fetters of priestcraft would be loosened by the 
growth of liberal ideas. It was not strange, 
viewing the question from their standpoint, that 
they refused to take the oath of allegiance to 
the republic. Nearly all of them were Spanish 
born. Spain had aided them to plant their mis- 
sions, had fostered their establishments ami had 
made them supreme in the territory. Their al- 
legiance was due to the Spanish crown. They 
would not transfer it to a republic and th'ey did 
not; to the last they were loyal to Spain in 

heart, even if they did acquiesce in the ob- 
servance of the rule of the republic. 

Sola had long desired to be relieved of the 
governorship. He was growing old and was in 
poor health. The condition of the country wor- 
ried him. He had frequently asked to be re- 
lieved and allowed to retire from military duty. 
His requests were unheeded; the vice regal 
government of New Spain had weightier mat- 
ters to attend to than requests or the complaints 
of the governor of a distant and unimportant 
province. The inauguration of the empire 
brought him the desired relief. 

Under the empire Alta California was allowed 
a diputado or delegate in the imperial congress. 
Sola was elected delegate and took his de- 
parture for Mexico in the autumn of 1822. Luis 
Antonio Arguello, president of the provincial 
diputacion, an institution that had come into ex- 
istence after the inauguration of the empire, be- 
came governor by virtue of his position as 
president. He was the first hijo del pais or na- 
tive of the country to hold the office of gov- 
ernor. He was born at San Francisco in 17S4, 
while his father, an ensign at the presidio, was 
in command there. His opportunities for ob- 
taining an education were extremely meager, 
but he made the best use of what he had. lie 
entered the army at sixteen and was, at the time 
he became temporary governor, comandante at 
San Francisco. 

The inauguration of a new form of govern- 
ment had brought no relief to California. The 
two Spanish ships that had annually brought 
los memorias del rev (the remembrances of the 
king) had long since ceased to come with their 
supplies of money and goods for the soldiers. 
The California ports were closed to foreign com- 
merce. There was no sale for the products of 
the country. So the missions had 10 throw open 
their warehouses and relieve the necessities of 
the government. 

The change in the form of government had 
made no change in the dislike of foreigners, 
that was a characteristic of the Spaniard. 1 lur- 
ing the Spanish era very few foreigners had 
been allowed to remain in California. Run- 
awa\ sailors an ed mariners, notwith- 

standing they might wish to remain in the coun- 



try and become Catholics, were shipped to 
Mexico and returned to their own country. 
John Gilroy, whose real name was said to be 
John Cameron, was the first permanent English 
speaking resident of California. When a boy 
of eighteen he was left by the captain of a Hud- 
son Bay company's ship at Monterey in 1814. 
He was sick with the scurvy and not expected 
to live. Nursing and a vegetable diet brought 
him out all right, but he could not get away. 
He did not like the country and every day for 
several years he went down to the beach and 
scanned the ocean for a foreign sail. When one 
did come he had gotten over his home-sickness, 
had learned the language, fallen in love, turned 
Catholic and married. 

In 1822 William E. P. Hartnell, an English- 
man, connected with a Lima business house, 
visited California and entered into a contract 
with Padre Payeras, the prefect of the missions, 
for the purchase of hides and tallow. Hartnell 
a few years later married a California lady and 
became a permanent resident of the territory. 
Other foreigners who came about the same time 
as Hartnell and who became prominent in Cal- 
ifornia were William A. Richardson, an Eng- 
lishman; Capt. John R. Cooper of Boston and 
William A. Gale, also of Boston. Gale had first 
visited California in 1810 as a fur trader. He 
returned in 1822 on the ship Sachem, the pioneer 
Boston hide drogher. The hide drogher was 
in a certain sense the pioneer emigrant ship 
of California. It brought to the coast a 
number of Americans who became permanent 
residents of the territory. California, on ac- 
count of its long distance from the world's 
marts of trade, had but few products for ex- 
change that would bear the cost of shipment. 
Its chief commodities for barter during the 
Mexican era were hides and tallow. The vast 
range of country adapted to cattle raising made 
that its most profitable industry. Cattle in- 
creased rapidly and required but little care or 
on from their owners. Vs the native Cal- 
ifornians were averse to hard labor cattle rais- 
ing became almost the sole industry of the 

\fh>- the inauguration of a republican form 
of government in Mexico some of the most 

burdensome restrictions on foreign commerce 
were removed. The Mexican Congress of 1824 
enacted a colonization law, which was quite 
liberal. Under it foreigners could obtain land 
from the public domain. The Roman Catholic 
religion was the state religion and a foreigner, 
before he could become a permanent resident of 
the country, acquire property or marry, was 
required to be baptized and embrace the doc- 
trines of that church. After the Mexican Con- 
gress repealed the restrictive laws against for- 
eign commerce a profitable trade grew up 
between the New England ship owners and the 

Vessels called hide droghers were fitted out 
in Boston with assorted cargoes suitable for the 
California trade. Making the voyage by way of 
Cape Horn they reached California. Stopping 
at the various ports along the coast they ex- 
changed their stocks of goods and Yankee 
notions for hides and tallow. It took from two 
to three years to make a voyage to California 
and return to Boston, but the profits on the 
goods sold and on the hides received in ex- 
change were so large that these ventures paid 
handsomely. The arrival of a hide drogher 
with its department store cargo was heralded 
up and down the coast. It broke the monotony 
of existence, gave the people something new 
to talk about and stirred them up as nothing 
else could do unless possibly a revolution. 

'*On the arrival of a new vessel from the 
United States," says Robinson in his "Life in 
California," "every man, woman, boy and girl 
took a proportionate share of interest as to the 
qualities of her cargo. If the first inquired for 
rice, sugar or tobacco, the latter asked for prints, 
silks and satins; and if the boy wanted a Wil- 
son's jack knife, the girl hoped that there might 
be some satin ribbons for her. Thus the whole 
population hailed with eagerness an arrival. Even 
the Indian in his unsophisticated style asked for 
Panas Colorados and Abalaris — red handker- 
chiefs and beads. 

"After the arrival of our trading vessel (at San 
Pedro) our friends came in the morning flock- 
ing on board from all quarters; and soon a busy 
scene commenced afloat and ashore. Boats 
were passing to the beach, and men, women 



and children partaking in the general excite- 
ment. On shore all was confusion, cattle and 
carts laden with hides and tallow, gente de razon 
and Indians busily employed in the delivery of 
their produce and receiving in return its value 
in goods. Groups of individuals seated around 
little bonfires upon the ground, and horsemen 
racing over the plains in every direction. Thus 
the day passed, some arriving, some departing, 
till long after sunset, the low white road, lead- 
ing across the plains to the town (Los Angeles), 
appeared a living panorama." 

The commerce of California during the Mex- 
ican era was principally carried on by the hide 
droghers. The few stores at the pueblos and 
presidios obtained their supplies from them 
and retailed their goods to customers in the in- 
tervals between the arrivals of the department 
store droghers. 

The year 1824 was marked by a serious out- 
break among the Indians of several missions. 
Although in the older missionary establish- 
ments many of the neophytes had spent half a 
century under the Christianizing influence of 
the padres and in these, too, a younger genera- 
tion had grown from childhood to manhood 
under mission tutelage, yet their Christian train- 
ing had not eliminated all the aboriginal sav- 
agery from their natures. The California Indians 
were divided into numerous small tribes, each 
speaking a different dialect. The}- had never 
learned, like the eastern Indians did, the ad- 
vantages of uniting against a common enemy. 
When these numerous small tribes were gath- 
ered into the missions they were kept as far as 
it was possible separate and it is said the padres 
encouraged their feuds and tribal animosities to 
prevent their uniting against the missionaries. 
Their long residence in the missions had de- 
stroyed their tribal distinctions and merged 
them into one body. It had taught them, too, 
the value of combination. 

How long the Indians had been plotting no 
one knew. The conspiracy began among the 
neophytes of Santa Ynez and La Purisima, but 
it spread to the missions of San Luis < ibispo, 
Santa Barbara, San Buenaventura, San Fer- 
nando and San Gabriel. Their plan was to mas- 
sacre the padres and the mission guard and 

having obtained arms to kill all the genie de 
razon and thus free themselves from mission 
thralldom and regain their old time freedom. 
The plotting had been carried on with great 
secrecy. Rumors had passed from mission to 
mission arranging the details of the uprising 
without the whites suspecting anything. Sunday, 
February 22, [824, was the day set for begin- 
ning the slaughter. At the hour of celebrating 
mass, when the soldiers and the padre- were 
within the church, the bloody work was to be- 
gin. The plot might have succeeded had not 
the Indians at Santa Ynez began their work 
prematurely. One account (Hindi's History of 
California) says that on Saturday afternoon be- 
fore the appointed Sunday they determined to 
begin the work by the murder of Padre- Fran- 
cisco Xavier Una, who was sleeping in a cham- 
ber next the mission church. He was warned 
by a faithful page. Springing from his couch 
and rushing to a window he saw the Indians ap- 
proaching. Seizing a musket from several that 
were in the room he shot the first Indian that 
reached the threshold dead. He seized a sec- 
ond musket and laid another Indian low. The 
soldiers now rallied to his assistance and the 
Indians were driven back: they set fire to the 
mission church, but a small body of troops un- 
der Sergeant Carrillo, sent from Santa Barbara 
to reinforce the mission guard, coming up at 
this time, the Indians lied to Purisima. The 
fire was extinguished before the church was 
consumed. At Purisima the Indians were more 
successful. The mission was defended by Cor- 
poral Tapia and five soldiers. The Indians de- 
manded that Tapia surrender, but tin- corporal 
refused. The tight began and continued all 
night. The Indians set fire to the building, but 
all they could burn was the rafters. Tapia. by a 
strategic movement, succeeded in collecting all 
the soldiers and the women and children inside 
the walls of one of the largest buildings from 
which the roof had been burnt. From this the 
Indians could nol dislodge him. The fighl was 
kept up till morning, when one of the Indians, 
who had been a mission alcade, made a prop- 
osition to the corporal to surrender, Tapia re- 
fused to consider it, Km Father Bias I >rdaz in- 
terfered and insisted 1 imise. After 


much contention Tapia found himself overruled. 
The Indians agreed to spare the lives of all on 
condition that the whites laid down their arms. 
The soldiers laid down their arms and sur- 
rendered two small cannon belonging to the 
church. The soldiers, the women and the chil- 
dren were then allowed to march to Santa Ynez. 
While the fight was going on the Indians killed 
four white men, two of them, Dolores Sepulveda 
and Ramon Satelo, were on their way to Los 
Angeles and came to the mission not suspecting 
any danger. Seven Indians were killed in the 
fight and a number wounded. 

The Indians at Santa Barbara began hostilities 
according to their prearranged plot. They made 
an attack upon the mission. Captain de la 
( iuerra, who was in command at the presidio, 
marched to the mission and a fight of several 
hours ensued. The Indians sheltered them- 
selves behind the pillars of the corridor and 
fought with guns and arrows. After losing sev- 
eral of their number they lied to the hills. Four 
soldiers were wounded. The report of the up- 
rising reached Monterey and measures were 
taken at once to subdue the rebellious 
neophytes. A force of one hundred men was 
sent under Lieut. Jose Estrada to co-operate 
with Captain de la Guerra against the rebels. 
( )n the t6th of .March the soldiers surrounded 
the Indians who had taken possession of the 
mission church at Purisima and opened fire 
Upon them. The Indians replied with their cap- 
tured cannon, muskets and arrows. Estrada's 
artillery battered down the walls of the church. 
The Indian-, unused to arms, did little execu- 
tion. Driven out of the wrecked building, they 
attempted to make their escape by llight, but 
wire intercepted by tlie cavalry which had been 
deployed for that purpose. Finding themselves 

hemmed in on all sides the neophytes sur- 
rendered. They had lost sixteen killed and a 
large number of wounded. Seven of the prison- 
ers were shot for complicity in the murder of 
Sepulveda and the three other travelers. The 
four leaders in the revolt, Mariano Pacomio, 
Benito and Bernabe, were sentenced to ten 
years hard labor at the presidio and eight oth- 
ers to lesser terms. There were four hundred 
Indians engaged in the battle. 

The Indians of the Santa Barbara missions 
and escapes from Santa Ynez and Purisima 
made their way over the mountains to the 
Tulares. A force of eighty men under com- 
mand of a lieutenant was sent against these. 
The troops had two engagements with the reb- 
els, whom they found at Buenavista Lake and 
San Emigdio. Finding his force insufficient to 
subdue them the lieutenant retreated to Santa 
Barbara. Another force of one hundred and 
thirty men under Captain Portilla and Lieuten- 
ant Valle was sent after the rebels. Father 
Ripoll had induced the governor to offer a gen- 
eral pardon. The padre claimed that the In- 
dians had not harmed the friars nor committed 
sacrilege in the church and from his narrow- 
view these were about the only venal sins they 
could commit. The troops found the fugitive 
neophytes encamped at San Emigdio. They 
now professed repentance for their misdeeds and 
were willing to return to mission life if they 
could escape punishment. Padres Ripoll and 
Sarria, who had accompanied the expedition, 
entered into negotiations with the Indians; par- 
don was promised them for their offenses. They 
then surrendered and marched back with the 
soldiers to their respective missions. This was 
the last attempt of the Indians to escape from 
mission rule. 




colonel of the Mexican army, was ap- 
pointed governor of the two Californias, 
February i, 1825. With his staff officers and 
a few soldiers he landed at Loreto June 
22. After a delay of a few months at Lo- 
reto he marched overland to San Diego, 
where he arrived about the middle of October. 
He summoned Arguello to meet him there, 
which he did and turned over the government, 
October 31, 1825. Echeandia established his 
capital at San Diego, that town being about the 
center of his jurisdiction. This did not suit the 
people of Monterey, who become prejudiced 
against the new governor. Shortly after his 
inauguration he began an investigation of the 
attitude of the mission friars towards the re- 
public of Mexico. He called padres Sanches, 
Zalvidea, Peyri and Martin, representatives of 
the four southern missions, to San Diego and 
demanded of them whether they would take the 
oath of allegiance to the supreme government. 
They expressed their willingness and were ac- 
cordingly sworn to support the constitution of 
1824. Many of the friars of the northern mis- 
sions remained contumacious. Among the 
most stubborn of these was Padre Vicente 
Francisco de Sarria, former president of the 
missions. He had resigned the presidency to 
escape taking the oath of allegiance and still 
continued his opposition. He was put under ar- 
rest and an order issued for his expulsion by 
the supreme government, but the execution of 
the order was delayed for fear that if he were 
banished others of the disloyal padres would 
abandon their missions and secretly leave the 
country. The government was not ready yet to 
take possession of the missions. The friars 
could keep the neophytes in subjection and 
make them work. The business of the country 
was in the hands of the friars and any radical 
change would have been disastrous. 

The national government in 1827 had issued 
a decree for the expulsion of Spaniards from 
Mexican territory. There were certain classes 
of those born in Spain who were exempt from 
banishment, but the friars were not among the 
exempts. The decree of expulsion reached Cal- 
ifornia in 1828; but it was not enforced for the 
reason that all of the mission padres except 
three were Spaniards. To have sent these out 
of the country would have demoralized the mis- 
sions. The Spanish friars were expelled from 
Mexico; but those in California, although some 
of them had boldly proclaimed their willingness 
to die for their king and their religion and de- 
manded their passports to leave the country, 
were allowed to remain in the country. Their 
passports were not given them for reasons 
above stated. Padres Ripoll and Altimira made 
their escape without passports. They secretly 
took passage on an American brig lying at 
Santa Barbara. Orders were issued to seize the 
vessel should she put into any other harbor on 
the coast, but the captain, who no doubt had 
been liberally paid, took no chance of capture 
and the padres eventually reached Spain in 
safety. There was a suspicion that the two 
friars had taken with them a large amount of 
money from the mission funds, but nothing was 
proved. It was certain that they carried away 
something more than the bag and staff, the onl) 
property allowed them by the rules of their 

The most bitter opponenl of the new govern- 
ment was Father Luis Antonio Martinez of San 
Luis Obispo. Before the clandestine departure 
of Ripoll and Altimira there were rumors that 
he meditated a secret departure From the coun- 
try. The mysterious shipment of $6,000 in gold 
belonging to the mission on a vessel called the 
Santa Apolonia gave credence to the repi 
1 tided flight. 1 le had been given a 
port hill -till remained in the territory. His 



outspoken disloyalty and his well known suc- 
cess in evading the revenue laws and smuggling 
goods ini" i lie country had made him particu- 
larly obnoxious to the authorities. Governor 
Echeandia determined to make an example of 
him. He was arrested m February, 1830, and 
confined in a room at Santa Barbara. In his 
trial before a council of war an attempt was 
made to connect him with complicity in the Solis 
revolution, but the evidence against him was 
weak. P.\ a vote of live to one it was decided 
to send him out of the country. He was put 
on board an English vessel bound for Callao and 
there transferred to a vessel bound for Europe; 
he finally arrived safely at Madrid. 

Under the empire a diputacion or provincial 
legislature had been established in California. 
Arguello in 1825 had suppressed this while he 
was governor. Echeandia, shortly after his ar- 
rival, ordered an election for a new diputacion. 
The diputacion made the general laws of the 
territory. It consisted of seven members called 
vocals. These were chosen by an electoral 
junta, the members .if which were elected by 
the people. The diputacion chose a diputado or 
delegate to the Mexican Congress. As it was a 
long distance for some of the members to travel 
tu the territorial capital a suplente or substitute 
was chosen for each member, so as to assure a 
quorum. The diputacion called by Echeandia 
met at Monterey, June 14, 1828. The sessions, 
of which there were two each week, were held in 
the governor's palacio. This diputacion passed 
a rather peculiar revenue law. It taxed domestic 
aguardiente (grape brandy) $5 a barrel and 
wine half that amount in the jurisdictions of 
Monterey and San Francisco; but in the juris- 
dictions of Santa Barbara and San Diego the 
rates were doubled, brandy was taxed $10 
a barrel and wine $5. San Diego, Los An- 
geles and Santa Barbara were wine producing 
districts, while Monterej and San Francisco 
wire nut. As there was a larger consumption of 
the product in the wine producing district- than 
in the others the law was enacted for revenue 
and not for prevention of drinking. 

Another peculiar freak of legislation perpe- 
trated by this diputacion was the attempt to 
change the name of the territory. The supreme 

government was memorialized to change the 
name of Aha California to that of Montezuma 
and also that of the Pueblo de Xuestra Seriora 
de los Angeles to that of Villa Victoria de la 
Reyna de los Angeles and make it the capital 
of the territory. A coat of arms was adopted 
for the territory. It consisted of an oval with 
the figure of an oak tree on one side, an olive 
tree on the other and a plumed Indian in the 
center with his bow and quiver, just in the 
act of stepping across the mythical straits 
of Anian. The memorial was sent to Mexico, 
but the supreme government paid no attention 
to it. 

The political upheavals, revolutions and coun- 
ter revolutions that followed the inauguration 
of a republican form of government in Mexico 
demoralized the people and produced a prolific 
crop of criminals. The jails were always full 
and it became a serious question what to do 
with them. It was proposed to make California 
a penal colony, similar to England*s Botany 
Bay. Orders were issued to send criminals to 
California as a means of reforming their mor- 
als. The Californians protested against the 
sending of these undesirable immigrants, but in 
vain. In February, 1830, the brig Maria Ester 
brought eighty convicts from Acapulco to San 
Diego. They were not allowed to land there 
and were taken to Santa Barbara. What to 
do with them was a serious question with the 
Santa Barbara authorities. The jail would not 
hold a tenth part of the shipment and to turn 
them loose in the sparsely settled country was 
dangerous to the peace of the community. Fin- 
ally, about thirty or forty of the worst of the 
bad lot were shipped over to the island of Santa 
Cruz. They were given a supply of cattle, some 
fishhooks and a few tools and turned loose on 
the island to shift for themselves. They staid 
mi the island until they had slaughtered and 
eaten the cattle, then they built a raft and 
drifted back to Santa Barbara, where they 
quartered themselves on the padres of the mis- 
sion. Fifty more were sent from Mexico a few 
months later. These shipments of prison exiles 
were distributed around among the settlements. 
Some served out their time and returned to their 
native land, a few escaped over the border, 


others remained in the territory after their time 
was up and became fairly good citizens. 

The colonization law passed by the Mexican 
Congress August 18, 1824, was the first break 
in the proscriptive regulations that had pre- 
vailed in Spanish-American countries since their 
settlement. Any foreigner of good character 
who should locate in the country and become a 
Roman Catholic could obtain a grant of public 
land, not exceeding eleven leagues; but no for- 
eigner was allowed to obtain a grant within 
twenty leagues of the boundary of a foreign 
country nor within ten leagues of the sea coast. 
The law of April 14, 1828, allowed foreigners 
to become naturalized citizens. The applicant 
was required to have resided at least two years 
in the country, to be or to become a Roman 
Catholic, to renounce allegiance to his former 
country and to swear to support the constitution 
and laws of the Mexican republic. Quite a 
number of foreigners who had been residing 
a number of years in California took advantage 
of this law and became Mexican citizens by nat- 
uralization. The colonization law of Novem- 
ber 18, 1828, prescribed a series of rules and 
regulations for the making of grants of land. 
Colonists were required to settle on ami culti- 
vate the land granted within a specified time or 
forfeit their grants. Any one residing outside 
of the republic could not retain possession of 
his land. The minimum size of a grant as de- 
fined by this law was two hundred varas square 
of irrigable land, eight hundred varas square 
of arable land (depending on the seasons) and 
twelve hundred varas square grazing land. The 
size of a house lot was one hundred varas 

The Californians had grown accustomed to 
foreigners coming to the country by sea, but 
they were not prepared to have them come over- 
land. The mountains and deserts that inter- 
vened between the United States and California 
were supposed to be an insurmountable barrier 
to foreign immigration by land. It was no doubt 
with feelings of dismay, mingled with anger, 
that Governor Echeandia received the advance 
guard of maldito estranjeros, who came across 
the continent. Echeandia hated foreigners and 
particularly Americans. The pioneer of over- 

land travel from the United States to California 
was Capt. Jedediah S. Smith. Smith was born 
in Connecticut and when quite young came 
with his father to Ohio and located in Ashtabula 
county, where he grew to manhood amid the 
rude surroundings of pioneer life in the west. 
By some means he obtained a fairly good educa- 
tion. We have no record of when he began the 
life of a trapper. We first hear of him as an 
employe of General Ashley in 1822. He had 
command of a band of trappers on the waters of 
the Snake river in 1824. Afterwards he became 
a partner of Ashley under the firm name of 
Ashley & Smith and subsequently one of the 
members of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company. 
The latter company had about 1825 established 
a post and fort near Great Salt Lake. From 
this, August 22, 1826, Captain Smith with a 
band of fifteen hunters and trappers started on 
his first expedition to California. His object 
was to find some new country that had not been 
occupied by a fur company. Traveling in a south- 
westerly direction he discovered a river which 
he named Adams (after President John Ouincy 
Vdams) now known as the Rio Virgin. This 
stream he followed down to its junction with 
the Colorado. Traveling down the latter river 
he arrived at the Mojave villages, where he 
rested fifteen days. Here he found two wander- 
ing neophytes, who guided his party across the 
desert to the San Gabriel mission, where he and 
his men arrived safely early in December, 1826. 
The arrival of a party of armed Americans 
from across the mountains and deserts alarmed 
the padres and couriers were hastily dispatched 
to Governor Echeandia at San Diego. The 
Americans were placed under arrest and com- 
pelled to give up their arms. Smith was taken 
to San Diego to give an account of himself. 1 [e 
claimed that he had been compelled to enter 
the territory on account of the loss of horses 
and a scarcity of provisions, lie was finally re- 
leased from prison upon the endorsement of 
several American ship captains and supercar- 
goes who were then at San Diego, lie was a! 
lowed to return to San Gabriel, where he pur- 
chased horses and supplies. He moved his camp 
to San Bernardino, where he remained until 
February. The authorities had grown uneasy 



at his continued presence in the country and 
orders were sent to arrest him, but before this 
could be done he left for the Tulare country by 
way of Cajon Pass. He trapped on the tribu- 
taries of the San Joaquin. By the ist of May 
he and his party had reached a fork of the Sac- 
ramento (near where the town of Folsom now 
stands). Here he established a summer camp 
and the river ever since has been known as the 
American fork from that circumstance. 

Here again the presence of the Americans 
worried the Mexican authorities. Smith wrote 
a conciliatory letter to Padre Duran, president 
of the missions, informing him that he had 
"made several efforts to pass over the moun- 
tains, but the snow being so deep I could not 
succeed in getting over. I returned to this 
place, it being the only point to kill meat, to 
wait a few weeks until the snow melts so that I 
can go on." "On May 20, 1827," Smith writes, 
"with two men, seven horses and two mules, I 
started from the valley. In eight days we 
crossed Mount Joseph, losing two horses and 
one mule. After a march of twenty days east- 
ward from Mount Joseph (the Sierra Xevadas) 
I reached the southwesterly corner of the Great 
Salt Lake. The country separating it from the 
mountains is arid and without game. ( Iften we 
had no water for two days at a time. When 
we reached Salt Lake we had left only one horse 
and one mule, so exhausted that they could 
hardl) carry our slight baggage. We had been 
forced to eat the horses that had succumbed." 

Smith's route over the Sierras to Salt Lake 
was substantially the same as that followed bythe 
overland emigration of later years. He discov- 
ered the Humboldt, which he named the Mary 
river, a name it bore until changed by Fremont 
in 1S45. lie was the first white man to cross 
the Sierra Xevadas. Smith left his partv of 
trappers excepl the two who accompanied him 
in the Sacramento valley. He returned next 
year with reinforcements and was ordered out 
of the country by the governor. He traveled up 
the coast towards Oregon. On the Umpqua 
river he was attacked b) the Indians. All his 
part) except himself and two others were mas- 
sacred, lie lost all of his horses and furs, lie 
reached Fort Vancouver his clothing torn to 

rags and almost starved to death. In 1831 he 
started with a train of wagons to Santa Fe on a 
trading expedition. While alone searching for 
water near the Cimarron river he was set upon 
by a party of Indians and killed. Thus perished 
by the hands of cowardly savages in the wilds of 
Xew Mexico a man who. through almost in- 
credible dangers and sufferings, had explored 
an unknown region as vast in extent as that 
which gave fame and immortality to the African 
explorer, Stanley; and who marked out trails 
over mountains and across deserts that Fre- 
mont following years afterwards won the title 
of " Pathfinder of the Great West." Smith led 
the advance guard of the fur trappers to Cali- 
fornia. Notwithstanding the fact that they were 
unwelcome visitors these adventurers continued 
to come at intervals up to 1845. They trapped 
on the tributaries of the San Joaquin, Sacramento 
and the rivers in the northern part of the terri- 
tory. A few of them remained in the country 
and became permanent residents, but most of 
them sooner or later met death by the savages. 

Capt. Jedediah S. Smith marked out two of 
the great immigrant trails by which the overland 
travel, after the discover) of gold, entered Cal- 
ifornia, one by way of the Humboldt river over 
the Sierra Xevadas, the other southerly from 
Salt Lake, Utah Lake, the Rio Virgin, across 
the Colorado desert, through the Cajon Pass to 
Los Angeles. A third immigrant route was 
blazed by the Pattie party. This route led from 
Santa Fe, across New Mexico, down the Gila 
to the Colorado and from thence across the 
desert through the San Gorgonio Pass to Los 

This party consisted of Sylvester Pattie, 
James Ohio Pattie, his son, Nathaniel M. 
Pryor, Richard Laughlin, Jesse Furguson, Isaac 
Slover, William Pope and James Puter. The 
Patties left Kentucky in 1S24 and followed trap- 
ping in Xew Mexico and Arizona until 1827: 
the elder Pattie for a time managing the cop- 
per mines of Santa Rita. In May. 1827, Pattie 
the elder, in command of a part)' of thirty trap- 
pers and hunters, set out to trap the tributaries 
of the Colorado. Losses by Indian hostilities, 
b) dissensions and desertions reduced the party 
to eight persons. December ist, 1827, while 



these were encamped on the Colorado near the 
mouth of the Gila, the Yuma Indians stole all 
their horses. They constructed rafts and floated 
down the Colorado, expecting to find Spanish 
settlements on its hanks, where they hoped to 
procure horses to take them back to Santa Fe. 
They floated down the river until they encoun- 
tered the flood tide from the gulf. Finding it 
impossible to go ahead on account of the tide 
or back on account of the river current, they 
landed, cached their furs and traps and with 
two days' supply of beaver meat struck out 
westerly across the desert. After traveling for 
twenty-four days and suffering almost incredible 
hardships they reached the old Mission of Santa 
Catalina near the head of the Gulf of California. 
Here they were detained until news of their ar- 
rival could be sent to Governor Echeandia at 
San Diego. A guard of sixteen soldiers was sent 
for them and they were conducted to San Diego, 
where they arrived February 27, 1828. Their 
arms were taken from them and they were put 
in prison. The elder Pattie died during their 
imprisonment. In September all the party ex- 
cept young Pattie, who was retained as a host- 
age, were released and permitted to go after 
their buried furs. They found their furs had been 
ruined by the overflow of the river. Two of the 
party, Slover and Pope, made their way back 
to Santa Fe; the others returned, bringing with 
them their beaver traps. They were again im- 
prisoned by Governor Echeandia, but were fin- 
ally released. 

Three of the party, Nathaniel M. Pryor, 
Richard Laughlin and Jesse Furguson, became 
permanent residents of California. Young Pat- 
tie returned to the United States by way of 
Mexico. After his return, with the assistance 
of the Rev. Timothy Flint, he wrote an account 
of his adventures, which was published in Cin- 
cinnati in 1833, under the title of "Pattie's Nar- 
rative." Young Pattie was inclined to exaggera- 
tion. In his narrative he claims that with vac- 
cine matter brought by his father from the 
Santa Rita mines he vaccinated twenty-two 
thousand people in California. In Los Angeles 
alone, he vaccinated twenty-five hundred. 
which was more than double the population of 
the town in 1828. He took a contract from the 

president of the missions to vaccinate all the 
neophytes in the territory. When his job was 
finished the president offered him in pay five 
hundred cattle and five hundred mules 
with land to pasture his stock on condition 
he would become a Roman Catholic and 
a citizen of Mexico. Pattie scorned the of- 
fer and roundly upbraided the padre for taking 
advantage of him. He had previously given 
Governor Eacheandia a tongue lashing and had 
threatened to shoot him on sight. From his 
narrative he seems to have put in most of his 
time in California blustering and threatening to 
shoot somebody. 

Another famous trapper of this period was 
"Peg Leg" Smith. His real name was Thomas 
L. Smith. It is said that in a fight with the 
Indians his leg below the knee was shattered by 
a bullet. He coolly amputated his leg at the 
knee with no other instrument than his hunting 
knife. He wore a wooden leg and from this 
came his nickname. He first came to California 
in 1829. He was ordered out of the country. 
He and his party took their departure, but with 
them went three or four hundred California 
horses, lie died in a San Francisco hospital in 

Ewing Young, a famous captain of trappers, 
made several visits to California from [830 to 
[837. In 1831 he led a party of thirty hunters 
and trappers, among those of his party who 
remained in California was Col. J. J. Warner, 
who became prominent in the territory and 
state. In 1837 Ewing Young with a party of 
sixteen men came down from Oregon, where 
he finally located, to purchase cattle for the new 
settlements on the Willamette river. They 
bought seven hundred cattle at $3 per head from 
the government and drove them overland to 
( Iregon, reaching there after a toilsome journey 
of four months with six hundred. Young died 
!i' ( >regon in [841. 

From the downfall of Spanish domination in 
1822, to the close of thai decade there had been 
but few political disturbances in California. The 
only one of any consequence was Solis' and 
Herrera's attempt to revolutionize the territory 
and seize the government. Jose Maria Herrera 
had come to Califoi - missioner of 



the commissary department, but after a short 
term of service had been removed from office 
for fraud. Joaquin Solis was a convict who was 
serving a ten years sentence of banishment from 
Mexico. The ex-official and the exile with oth- 
ers of damaged character combined to overturn 
the government. 

On the night of November i_\ 82 
with a band of soldiers that he had induced to 
join his standard, seized the principal govern- 
ment officials at Monterey and put them in 
prison. At Solis' solicitation Herrera drew up 
a pronunciamento. It followed the usual line 
of such documents. It began by deploring the 
evils that had come upon the territory through 
Echeandia*s misgovernment and closed widt 
promises of reformation if the revolutionists 
should obtain control of the government. To 
obtain the sinews of war the rebels seized 
S3.000 of the public funds. This was dis- 
tributed among the soldiers and proved a great 
attraction to the rebel cause. Solis with twen- 
ty men went to San Francisco and : 
diers there joined his standard. Xext he 
marched against Santa Barbara with an army 
of one hundred and fifty men. Echeandia on 
hearing of the revolt had marched northward 
with all the soldiers he could enlist. The two 
armies met at Santa Ynez. Solis opened fire on 
the governor's army. The fire was returned. 
Solis' men began to break away and soon the 
army and its valiant leader were in rapid flight. 
Pacheco's cavalry captured the leaders of the 
revolt. Herrara. Solis and thirteen others were 
shipped to Mexico under arrest to be tried for 
their crimes. The Mexican authorities, always 
lenient to California revolutionists, probably 
from a fellow feeling, turned them all loose 
and Herrera was sent back to fill his former 

Xear the close of his term Governor 
Echeandia formulated a plan for converting the 
mission into pueblos. To ascertain the fitness 
of the neophytes for citizenship he made an in- 
vestigation to find out how many could read and 
write. He found so very few that he ordered 
schools opened at the missions. A pretense was 
made of establishing schools, but very little was 
accomplished. The padres' were opposed to edu- 

cating the natives for the same reason that the 
southern slave-holders were opposed to educat- 
ing the negro, namely, that an ignorant people 
were more easily kept in subjection. Echeandia's 
plan of secularization was quite elaborate and 
dealt fairly with the neophytes. It received the 
sanction of the diputacion when that body met 
in July, 1S30, but before anything could be done 
towards enforcing it another governor was ap- 
pointed. Echeandia was thoroughly hated by 
the mission friars and their adherents. Robin- 
son in his "Life in California" calls him a man 
of vice and makes a number of damaging asser- 
tions about his character and conduct, which 
are not in accordance with the facts. It was dur- 
ing Echeandia's term as governor that the motto 
of Mexico, Dios y Libertad (God and Liberty), 
was adopted. It became immensely popular 
and was used on all public documents and often 
in private correspondence. 

A romantic episode that has furnished a 
theme for fiction writers occurred in the last 
year of Echeandia's rule. It was the elopement 
of Henry D. Fitch with Dona Josefa, daughter 
of Joaquin Carrillo of San Diego. Fitch was a 
native of Xew Bedford, Mass. He came to Cal- 
ifornia in 1826 as master of the Maria Ester. 
He fell in love with Dona Josefa. There were 
legal obstructions to their marriage. Fitch was 
a foreigner and a Protestant. The latter objec- 
tion was easily removed by Fitch becoming a 
Catholic. The Dominican friar who was to per- 
form the marriage service, fearful that he might 
incur the wrath of the authorities, civil and cler- 
ical, refused to perform the ceremony, but sug- 
gested that there were other countries where 
5 were less strict and offered to go beyond 
the limits of California and marry them. It is 
said that at this point Dona Josefa said: "Why 
don't you carry me off, Don Enrique?'' The 
suggestion was quickly acted upon. The next 
night the lady, mounted on a steed with her 
cousin, Pio Pico, as an escort, was secretly 
taken to a point on the bay shore where a boat 
was waiting for her. The boat put off to the 
Vulture, where Captain Fitch received her on 
board and the vessel sailed for Valparaiso, 
where the couple were married. A year later 
Captain Fitch returned to California with his 


wile and infant son. At Monterey Fitch was 
arrested on an order of Padre Sanchez of San 
Gabriel and put in prison. His wife was also 
placed under arrest at the house of Captain 
Cooper. Fitch was taken to San Gabriel for trial. 
"his offenses being most heinous." At her in- 
tercession, Governor Echeandia released Mrs. 
Fitch and allowed her to go to San Gabriel, 
where her husband was imprisoned in one of the 
rooms of the mission. This act of clemency 
greatly enraged the friar and his fiscal. Pa- 
lomares, and they seriously considered the ques- 
tion of arresting the governor. The trial 
dragged along for nearly a month. Many wit- 
nesses were examined and many learned points 
of clerical law discussed. Yicar Sanchez finally 
gave his decision that the marriage at Val- 
paraiso, though not legitimate, was not null and 
void, but valid. The couple were condemned 

to do penance by "presenting themse!. 
church with lighted candles in their hands to 
hear high mass for three feast days an<; 
together for thirty days one-third of the rosary 
of the holy virgin."* In addition to these joint 
penances the vicar inflicted an additional pen- 
alty on Fitch in these words: "Yet considering 
the great scandal which Don Enrique has 
caused in this province I condemn him to give 
as penance and reparation a bell of at leasl 
pounds in weight for the church at Los An- 
geles, which barely has a borrowed one."" Fitch 
and his wife no doubt performed the joint pen- 
ance imposed upon them, but the church . 
Angeles had to get along with its borrowed bell. 
Don Enrique never gave it one of fifty pounds 
or anv other weight. 

►Bancroft's History of California, Vol. III-144. 



JiK ANUEL VICTORIA was appointed 
/'\ governor in March. 1S30, but did not 
reach California until the last month 
of the year. Victoria very soon became un- 
popular. He undertook to overturn the civil 
authority and substitute military rule. He 
recommended the abolition of the ayunta- 
mientos and refused to call together the ter- 
ritorial diputacion. He exiled Don Abel 
Stearns and Jose Antonio Carrillo: and at dif- 
ferent times, on trumped-up charges, had half 
a hundred of the leading citizens of Los An- 
geles incarcerated in the pueblo jail. Alcalde 
Vicente Sanchez was the petty despot of the 
pueblo, who carried out the tyrannical 
of his master. Victoria. Among others who 
were imprisoned in the cuartel was Jose Maria 
Avila. Avila was proud, haughty and over- 
bearing. He had incurred the hatred of both 
Victoria and Sanchez. Sanchez, under orders 
from Victoria, placed Avila in prison, and to 
humiliate him put him in irons. Avila brooded 
over the indignities inflicted upon him and 
vowed to be revenged. 

\ ictoria's persecutions became so unbearable 
that Pio Pico, Juan Bandini and Jose Antonio 
Carrillo raised the standard of revolt at San 
Diego and issued a pronunciamento, in which 
- .-: forth the reasons why they felt them- 
selves obliged to rise against the tyrant, Vic- 
toria. Pablo de Portilla, comandante of the 
presidio of San Diego, and his officers, with a 
force of fifty soldiers, joined the revolutionists 
and marched to Los Angeles. Sanchez's pris- 
oners were released and he was chained up in 
the pueblo jail. Here Per: as re- 

cruited to two hundred men. Avila and a num- 
ber of the other released prisoners joined the 
revolutionists, and all marched forth to meet 
Victoria, who was moving southward with an 
armed force t .. The 

two forces met on the plains of Cahuenga. west 
of the pueblo, at a place known as the Lomitas 
de la Canada de Breita. The sight of his per- 
furiated Avila that alone he rushed 
upon him to run him through wit 
Captain Pache ff, parried the 

lance thrust. m dead with one of 



his pistols and again attacked the governor and 
succeeded in wounding him, when he himself 
received a pistol ball that unhorsed him. After 
a desperate struggle (in which he seized Vic- 
toria by the foot and dragged him from his 
horse) he was shot by one of Victoria's soldier-. 
Tortilla's arm}- fell back in a panic to Los An- 
geles and Victoria's men carried the wounded 
governor to the Mission San Gabriel, where 
his wounds were dressed by Joseph Chapman, 
who, to his many other accomplishments, added 
that of amateur surgeon. Some citizens who 
had taken no part in the fight brought the 
lx idies i if Avila and Pacheco to the town. 
"They were taken to the same house, the same 
hands rendered them the last sad rites, and 
they were laid side by side. 'Side by side knelt 
their widows and mingled their tears, while 
sympathizing countrymen chanted the solemn 
prayers of the church for the repose of the 
souls of these untimely dead. Side by side be- 
neath the orange and the olive in the little 
churchyard upon the plaza sleep the slayer and 
the slain."* 

Next day, Victoria, supposing himself mor- 
tally wounded abdicated and turned over the 
governorship of the territory to Echeandia. He 
resigned the office December 9, 1831, having 
been governor a little over ten months. When 
Victoria was able to travel he was sent to San 
Diego, from where he was deported to Mexico, 
San Diego borrowing $125 from the ayunta- 
miento of Los Angeles to pay the expense of 
shipping him out of the country. Several years 
afterwards the money had not been repaid, and 
the town council began proceedings to recover 
it, but there is no record in the archives to show 
that it was ever paid. And thus it was that 
California got rid of a bad governor and Los 
Angeles incurred a bad debt. 

Januar) 10, [832, the territorial legislature 
nut at Los Angeles to choose a "gefe politico," 
or governor, for the territory. Echeandia was 
invited to preside but replied from San Juan 
Capistrano that he was busy getting Victoria 
out of the country. The diputacion, after wait- 
ing some time and receiving no satisfaction 

♦Stephen C. Foster, 

from Echeandia whether he wanted the office 
or not, declared l'io l'ico, by virtue of his office 
of senior vocal, "gefe politico." 

Xo sooner had Pico been sworn into office 
than Echeandia discovered that he wanted the 
office and wanted it badly. He protested against 
the action of the diputacion and intrigued 
against Pico. Another revolution was threat- 
ened. Los Angeles favored Echeandia, al- 
though all the other towns in the territory had 
accepted Pico. (Pico at that time was a resi- 
dent of San Diego.) A mass meeting was called 
on February 12. 1832, at Los Angeles, to dis- 
cuss the question whether it should be l'ico or 
Echeandia. I give the report of the meeting in 
the quaint language of the pueblo archives: 

"The town, acting in accord with the Most 
Illustrious Ayuntamiento, answered in a loud 
voice, saying they would not admit Citizen Pio 
Pico as 'gefe politico," but desired that Lieut. - 
Col. Citizen Jose Maria Echeandia be retained 
in office until the supreme government appoint. 
Then the president of the meeting, seeing the 
determination of the people, asked the motive or 
rea on of refusing Citizen Pio Pico, who was 
of unblemished character. To this the people 
responded that while it was true that Citizen 
Pio Pico was to some extent qualified, yet they 
preferred Lieut. -Col. Citizen Jose M. Echean- 
dia. The president of the meeting then asked 
the people whether they had been bribed, or 
was it merely insubordination that they op- 
posed the resolution of the Most Excellent Di- 
putacion? Whereupon the people answered 
that they had not been bribed, nor were they 
insubordinate, but that they opposed the pro- 
posed 'gefe politico' because he had not been 
named by the supreme government." 

At a public meeting February 19 the matter 
was again brought up. Again the people cried 
out "they would not recognize or obey any 
other gefe politico than Echeandia." The Most 
Illustrious Ayuntamiento opposed Pio Pico for 
two reasons: "First, because his name appeared 
first on the plan to oust Gefe Politico Citizen 
Manuel Victoria," and "Second, because he. 
Pico, had not sufficient capacity to fulfil the 
duties of the office." Then Jose Perez and Jose 
Antonio Carrillo withdrew from the meeting, 


saying they would not recognize Echeandia as 
"gefe politico." Pico, after holding the office 
for twenty days, resigned for the sake of peace. 
And this was the length of Pico's first term as 

Echeandia, by obstinacy and intrigue, had ob- 
tained the coveted office, "gefe politico," but he 
did not long enjoy it in peace. News came 
from Monterey that Capt. Agustiri V. Zamo- 
rano had declared himself governor and was 
gathering a force to invade the south and en- 
force his authority. Echeandia began at once 
marshaling his forces to oppose him. Ybarra, 
Zamarano's military chief, with a force of one 
hundred men, by a forced march, reached Paso 
de Bartolo, on the San Gabriel river, where, 
fifteen years later, Stockton fought the Mexican 
troops under Flores. Here Ybarra found Cap- 
tain ISorroso posted with a piece of artillery and 
fourteen men. He did not dare to attack him. 
Echeandia and Borroso gathered a force of a 
thousand neophytes at Paso de Bartolo, where 
they drilled them in military evolutions. Ybar- 
ra's troops had fallen back to Santa Barbara, 
where he was joined by Zamorano with rein- 
forcements. Ybarra's force was largely made up 
of ex-convicts and other undesirable characters, 
who took what they needed, asking no questions 
of the owners. The Angelenos, fearing those 
marauders, gave their adhesion to Zamorano's 
plan and recognized him as military chief of the 
territory. Captain Borroso, Echeandia's faith- 
ful adherent, disgusted with the fickleness of 
the Angelenos, at the head of a thousand 
mounted Indians, threatened to invade the re- 
calcitrant pueblo, but at the intercession of the 
frightened inhabitants this modern Coriolanus 
turned aside and regaled his neophyte retainers 
on the fat bullocks of the Mission San Gabriel, 
much to the disgust of the padres. The neo- 
phyte warriors were disbanded and sent to their 
respective missions. 

A peace was patched up betwen Zamorano 
and Echeandia. Alta California was divided 
into two territories. Echeandia was given juris- 
diction over all south of San Gabriel and Zamo- 
rano all north of San Fernando. This division 
apparently left a neutral district, or "no man's 
land," between. Whether Los Angeles was in 

this neutral territory the records do not show. 
If it was, it is probable that neither of the gov- 
ernors wanted the job of governing the rebel- 
lious pueblo. 

In January, 1833, Governor Figueroa arrived 
in California. Echeandia and Zamorano each 
surrendered his hah of the divided territory to 
the newly appointed governor, and California 
was united and at peace. Figueroa proved to 
be the right man for the times. He conciliated 
the factions and brought order out of chaos. 
The two most important events in Figueroa's 
term of office were the arrival of the Hijar Col- 
ony in California and the secularization of the 
missions. These events were most potent fac- 
tors in the evolution of the territory. 

In 1833 the first California colonization 
scheme was inaugurated in Mexico. At the 
head of this was Jose Maria Hijar, a Mexican 
gentleman of wealth and influence. He was 
assisted in its promulgation by Jose M. Padres, 
an adventurer, who had been banished from 
California by Governor Victoria. Padres, like 
some of our modern real estate boomers, pic- 
tured the country as an earthly paradise — an 
improved and enlarged Garden of Eden. 
Among other inducements held out to the colo- 
nists, it is said, was the promise of a division 
among them of the mission property and a dis- 
tribution of the neophytes for servants. 

Headquarters were established at the city 
of Mexico and two hundred and fifty colonists 
enlisted. Each family received a bonus of 
$10, and all were to receive free transporta- 
tion to California and rations while on the jour- 
ney. Each head of a family was promised a 
farm from the public domain, live stock and 
farming implements; these advances to be paid 
for on the installment plan. The orignal plan was 
to found a colon) somewhere north of San 
Francisco bay, but this was not carried out. 
Two vessels were dispatched with the colonists 
— the Morelos and the Natalia. The latter was 
compelled to put into San Diego on account of 
sickness on board. She reached that port Sep- 
tember 1, 1834. A part of the colonists on 
hoard her were senl to San 1'edro and from 
there they were taken to Los Vngeles and San 
Gabriel. The Morelos readied Monterey Sep- 


tember 25. Hijar had been appointed governor 
of California by President Farias, but after the 
sailing of the expedition, Santa Ana, who had 
succeeded Farias, dispatched a courier over- 
land with a countermanding order. By one of 
the famous rides of history, Amador, the courier, 
made the journey from the city of [Mexico to 
Monterey in forty days and delivered his mes- 
sage to Governor Figueroa. When Hijar ar- 
rived he found to his dismay that he was only 
a private citizen of the territory instead of its 
governor. The colonization scheme was aban- 
doned and the immigrants distributed them- 
selves throughout the territory. Generally they 
were a good class of citizens, and many of them 
became prominent in California affairs. 

That storm center of political disturbances, 
Los Angeles, produced but one small revolution 
during Figueroa's term as governor. A party 
of fifty or sixty Sonorans, some of whom were 
Hijar colonists who were living either in the 
town or its immediate neighborhood, assembled 
at Los Nietos on the night of March 7, 1835. 
They formulated a pronunciamiento against 
Don Jose Figueroa, in which they first vigor- 
ously arraigned him for sins of omission and 
commission and then laid down their plan of 
government of the territory. Armed with this 
formidable document and a few muskets and 
lances, these patriots, headed by Juan Gallado, 
a cobbler, and Felipe Castillo, a cigarmaker. in 
the gray light of the morning, rode into the 
pueblo, took possession of the town hall and 
the big cannon and the ammunition that had 

been stored there when the Indians of San Luis 
Rey had threatened hostilities. The slumbering 
inhabitants were aroused from their dreams of 
peace by the drum beat of war. The terrified 
citizens rallied to the juzgado, the ayuntamiento 
met, the cobbler statesman, Gallado, presented 
his plan; it was discussed and rejected. The 
revolutionists, after holding possession of the 
pueblo throughout the day, tired, hungry and 
disappointed in not receiving their pay for sav- 
ing the country, surrendered to the legal author- 
ities the real leaders of the revolution and 
disbanded. The leaders proved to be Torres, 
a clerk, and Apalategui, a doctor, both supposed 
to be emissaries of Hijar. They were imprisoned 
at San Gabriel. When news of the revolt 
reached Figueroa he had Hijar and Padres ar- 
rested for complicity in the outbreak. Hijar, 
with half a dozen of his adherents, was shipped 
back to Mexico. And thus the man who the 
year before had landed in California with a 
commission as governor and authority to take 
possession of all the property belonging to the 
missions returned to his native land an exile. 
His grand colonization scheme and his "Com- 
pania Cosmopolitana" that was to revolutionize 
California commerce were both disastrous fail- 

Governor Jose Figueroa died at Monterey 
on the 29th of September, 1835. He is generally 
regarded as the best of the Mexican governors 
sent to California. He was of Aztec extraction 
and took a great deal of pride in his Indian 



THE Franciscan Missions of Aha Califor- 
nia have of late been a prolific theme 
for a certain class of writers and espe- 
cially have they dwelt upon the secularization 
of these establishments. Their productions 
have added little or nothing to our previous 
knowledge of these institutions. Carried away 
li\ sentiment these writers draw pictures of mis- 
sion life that are unreal, that are purely imag- 

inary, and aroused to indignation at the injus- 
tice they fancy was done to their ideal institu- 
tions they deal out denunciations against the 
authorities that brought about secularization as 
unjust as they arc undeserved. Such expres- 
sions as "the robber hand of secularization," and 
"the brutal and thievish disestablishment of the 
missions," emanate from writers who seem to 
be ignorant of the purpose for which the mis- 


sions were founded, and who ignore, or who 
do not know, the causes which brought about 
their secularization. 

It is an historical fact known to all acquainted 
with California history that these establishments 
were not intended by the Crown of Spain to 
become permanent institutions. The purpose 
for which the Spanish government fostered and 
protected them was to Christianize the Indians 
and make of them self-supporting citizens. Very 
early in its history Governor Borica, Fages and 
other intelligent Spanish officers in California 
discovered the weakness of the mission system. 
Governor Borica, writing in 1796, said: "Ac- 
cording to the laws the natives are to be free 
from tutelage at the end of ten years, the mis- 
sions then becoming doctrinairs, but those of 
New California, at the rate they are advancing, 
will not reach the goal in ten centuries; the rea- 
son God knows, and men, too, know something 
about it." 

The tenure by which the mission friars held 
their lands is admirably set forth in William 
Carey Jones' "Report on Land Titles in Cali- 
fornia," made in 1850. He says, "It had been 
supposed that the lands they (the missions) oc- 
cupied were grants held as the property of the 
church or of the misson establishments as cor- 
porations. Such, however, was not the case; 
all the missions in VJpper California were estab- 
lished under the direction and mainly at the 
expense of the government, and the missionaries 
there had never any other right than to the 
occupation and use of the lands for the purpose 
of the missions and at the pleasure of the gov- 
ernment. This is shown by the history and 
principles of their foundation, by the laws in 
relation to them, by the constant practice of 
the government toward them and, in fact, by the 
rules of the Franciscan order, which forbid its 
members to possess property." 

With the downfall of Spanish domination in 
Mexico came the beginning of the end of mis- 
sionary rule in California. The majority of the 
mission padres were Spanish born. In the war 
of Mexican independence their sympathies were 
with their mother country. Spain. After Mex- 
ico attained her independence, some of them 
refused to acknowledge allegiance to the repub 

lie. The Mexican authorities feared and dis- 
trusted them. In this, in part, they found a pre- 
text for the disestablishment of the missions and 
the confiscation of the mission estates. There 
was another cause or reason for secularization 
more potent than the loyalty of the padres to 
Spain. Few forms of land monopoly have ever 
exceeded that in vogue under the mission system 
of California. From San Diego to San Fran- 
cisco hay the twenty missions established under 
Spanish rule monopolized the greater pan of the 
fertile land between the coast range and the sea. 
The limits of one mission were said to cover 
the intervening space to the limits of the next. 
There was but little left for other settlers. A 
settler could not obtain a grant of land if the 
padres of the nearest mission objected. 

The twenty-four ranchos owned by the Mis- 
sion San Gabriel contained about a million and 
a half acres and extended from the sea to the 
San Bernardino mountains. The greatest 
neophyte population of San Gabriel was in 1S17. 
when it reached 1,701. Its yearly average for 
the first three decades of the present century 
did not exceed 1,500. It took a thousand acres 
of fertile land under the mission system to .up- 
port an Indian, even the smallest papoose of the 
mission flock. It is not strange that the people 
clamored for a subdivision of the mission estates; 
and secularization became a public necessity. 
The most enthusiastic admirer of the missions 
to-day, had he lived in California scveim 
ago, would no doubt have hern among the loud- 
est in his wail againsl the mission system. 

The abuse heaped upon the Mexican authori- 
ties for their secularization of these institutions 
is as unjust as it is unmerited. The act of the 
Mexican Congress of August 17. 1833, was 
not the initiative movement towards their dis- 
establishment. Indeed in their Foundation their 
secularization, their subdivision into pu 
was provided for and the local authorities were 
never without lawful authority over them. In 
the very beginning 'if missionary work in Aha 
California the process of secularizing the mis- 
sion establishments was mapped out in the fol- 
lowing "Instructions given : Bucarili 
August 17. 177. v to the comandante of the new 
establishments of Sa nd Monterey. 


Article 15, when it shall happen that a mission 
is to be formed into a pueblo or village the 
comandante will proceed to reduce it to the civil 
and economical government, which, according 
to the laws, is observed by other villages of this 
kingdom; their giving it a name and declaring 
for its patron the saint under whose memory 
and protection the mission was founded." 

The purpose for which the mission was 
founded was to aid in the settlement of the 
country, and to convert the natives to Christian- 
ity. 'These objects accomplished the mission- 
ary's labor was considered fulfilled and the es- 
tablishment subject to dissolution. This view 
of their purpose and destiny fully appears in 
the tenor of the decree of the Spanish Cortes 
of September 13, 1813. It was passed in conse- 
quence of a complaint by the Bishop of Guiana 
of the evils that affected that province on ac- 
count of the Indian settlements in charge of 
missions not being delivered to the ecclesiastical 
ordinary, although thirty, forty and fifty years 
had passed since the reduction and conversion 
of the Indians." 

The Cortes decreed 1st, that all the new 
reduciones y doctrinairs (settlements of newly 
converted Indians) not yet formed into parishes 
of the province beyond the sea which were in 
charge of missionary monks and had been ten 
years subjected should be delivered immediately 
to the respective ecclesiastical ordinaries (bish- 
ops) without resort to any excuse or pretext 
conformably to the laws and cedulas in that 
respect. Section 2nd, provided that the secular 
clergy should attend to the spiritual wants of 
these curacies. Section 3rd. the missionary 
monks relieved from the converted settlements 
shall proceed to the conversion of other 

The decree of the Mexican Congress, passed 
November 20, [833, for the secularization of the 
missions of Upper and Lower California, was 
very similar in its provisions to the decree of the 
Spanish ( ortes of September, 1813. Th< \l<-. 
ican government simply followed the example 
of Spain and in the conversion of the missions 
into pueblos was attempting to enforce a prin- 

*William Carey Join 

ciple inherent in the foundation of the mission- 
ary establishments. I hat secularization resulted 
disastrously to the Indians was not the fault 
of the Mexican government so much as it was 
the defect in the industrial and intellectual 
training of the neophytes. Except in the case 
of those who were trained for choir services in 
the churches there was no attempt made to 
teach the Indians to read or write. The padres 
generally entertained a poor opinion of the 
neophytes' intellectual ability. The reglamento 
governing the secularization of the missions, 
published by Governor Echeandia in 1830. but 
not enforced, and that formulated by the diputa- 
cion under Governor Figueroa in 1834, approved 
by the Mexican Congress and finally enforced 
in 1834-5-6, were humane measures. These reg- 
ulations provided for the colonization of the 
neophytes into pueblos or villages. A portion of 
the personal property and a part of the lands 
held by the missions were to be distributed 
among the Indians as follows: 

"Article 5 — To each head of a family and all 
who are more than twenty years old, although 
without families, wdl be given from the lands 
of the mission, whether temporal (lands depend- 
ent on the seasons) or watered, a lot of ground 
not to contain more than four hundred varas 
(yards) in length, and as many in breadth not 
less than one hundred. Sufficient land for water- 
ing the cattle will be given in common. The 
outlets or roads shall be marked out by each vil- 
lage, and at the proper time the corporation 
lands shall be designated." This colonization 
of the neophytes into pueblos would have 
thrown large bodies of the land held by the mis- 
sions open to .settlement by white settlers. The 
personal property of missionary establishments 
was to have been divided among their neophyte 
retainers thus: "Article 6. Among the said in- 
dividuals will he distributed, ratably and justly, 
according to the discretion of the political chief, 
the half of the movable property, taking as a 
basis the last inventory which the missionaries 
have presented of all descriptions of cattle. Arti- 
cle 7. One-half or less of the implements and 
seeds indispensable for agriculture shall be al- 
lotted to them." 

The political government of the Indian pu- 


eblos was to be organized in accordance with 
existing laws of the territory governing other 
towns. The neophyte could not sell, mortgage 
or dispose of the land granted him; nor could 
he sell his cattle. The regulations provided that 
"Religious missionaries shall be relieved from 
the administration of temporalities and shall 
only exercise the duties of their ministry so far 
as they relate to spiritual matters." The nunner- 
ies or the houses where the Indian girls were 
kept under the charge of a duena until they 
were of marriageable age were to be abolished 
and the children restored to their parents. Rule 
7 provided that "What is called the 'priest- 
hood' shall immediately cease, female children 
whom they have in charge being handed over 
to their fathers, explaining to them the care 
they should take of them, and pointing out their 
obligations as parents. The same shall be done 
with the male children." 

Commissioners were to be appointed to take 
charge of the mission property and superintend 
its subdivision among the neophytes. The con- 
version of ten of the missionary establishments 
into pueblos was to begin in August, 1835. That 
of the others was to follow as soon as possible. 
San Gabriel, San Fernando and San Juan Capis- 
trano were among the ten that were to be 
secularized first. For years secularization had 
threatened the missions, but hitherto something 
had occurred at the critical time to avert it. 
The missionaries had used their influence 
against it, had urged that the neophytes were 
unfitted for self-support, had argued that the 
emancipation of the natives from mission rule 
would result in disaster to them. Through all 
the agitation of the question in previous years 
the padres had labored on in the preservation 
and upbuilding of their establishments; but with 
the issuing of the secularization decree by the 
Mexican Congress, August 17, 1833. the or- 
ganization of the Hijar Colony in Mexico and 
the instructions of acting president Farias to 
Hijar to occupy all the property of the missions 
and subdivide it among the colonists on their 
arrival in California, convinced the missionaries 
that the blow could no longer be averted. The 
revocation of Hijar's appointment as governor 
and the controversv which followed between 

him and Governor Figueroa and the diputacion 
for a time delayed the enforcement of the de- 

In the meantime, with the energy born of de- 
spair, eager at any cost to outwit those who 
sought to profit by their ruin, the mission fath- 
ers hastened to destroy that which through 
more than half a century thousands of human 
beings had spent their lives to accumulate. The 
wealth of the missions lay in their herds of cat- 
tle. The only marketable products of thes 
the hides and tallow. Heretofore a certain num- 
ber of cattle had been slaughtered each week 
to feed the neophytes and sometimes when the 
ranges were in danger of becoming over- 
stocked cattle were killed for their hides and 
tallow, and the meat left to the coyotes and the 
carrion crows. The mission fathers knew that 
if they allowed the possession of their herds to 
pass to other hands neither they nor the 
neophytes would obtain any reward for years of 
labor. The blow was liable to fall at any time. 
Haste was required. The mission butchers could .slaughter the animals fast enough. Con- 
tracts were made with the rancheros to kill 
on shares. The work of destruction began at 
the missions. The country became a mighty 
shambles. The matansas were no longer used. 
An animal was lassoed on the plain, thrown, its 
throat cut and while yet writhing in death agony, 
its hide was stripped and pegged upon the 
ground to dry. There were no vessels to con- 
tain the tallow and this was run into pits in the 
ground to be taken out when there was more 
time to spare and less cattle to be killed. The 
work of destruction went on as long as there 
were cattle to kill. So great was the stench 
from rotting carcasses of the cattle on the plains 
that a pestilence was threatened. The ayunta- 
miento of Los Angeles, November 15. 1S33. 
passed an ordinance compelling all pi 
slaughtering cattle for tin- hides and tallow- to 
cremate the carcassi 

laid the foundations of their future wealth by ap- 
propriating herds of young cattle from the mis- 
sion ranges. 

Hugo Reid, in the letters previously referred 
to in this volume, says of this period at San 
Gabriel. "These facts(the decree of secularization 



and the distribution of the mission property) 
being known to Padre Tomas (Estenaga), he, 
in all probability, by order of his superior, com- 
menced a work of destruction. The back build- 
ings were unroofed and the timber converted 
into fire wood. Cattle were killed on the halves 
by people who took a lion's share. Utensils 
were disposed of and goods and other articles 
distributed in profusion among the neophytes. 
The vineyards were ordered to be cut down, 
which, however, the Indians refused to do." 
After the mission was placed in charge of an 
administrator, Padre Tomas remained as min- 
ister of the church at a stipend of $1,500 per 
annum, derived from the pious fund. 

Hugo Reid says of him, "As a wrong im- 
pression of his character may be produced from 
the preceding remarks, in justice to his memory, 
be it stated that he was a truly good man, a sin- 
cere Christian and a despiser of hypocrisy. He 
had a kind, unsophisticated heart, so that he be- 
lieved every word told him. There has never 
been a purer priest in California. Reduced in 
circumstances, annoyed on many occasions by 
the petulancy of administrators, he fulfilled his 
duties according to his conscience, with be- 
nevolence and good humor. The nuns, who, 
when the secular movement came into opera- 
tion, had been set free, were again gathered to- 
gether under his supervision and maintained at 
his expense, as were also a number of old men 
and women." 

The experiment of colonizing the Indians in 
pueblos was a failure and they were gathered 
back into the mission, or as many of them as 
could be got back, and placed in charge of ad- 
ministrators. "The Indians," says Reid, "were 
made happy at this time in being permitted to 
enjoy once more the luxury of a tule dwelling, 
from which the greater part had been debarred 
for so long: they could now breathe freely 
again." (The close adobe buildings in which 
they had been housed in mission days were no 
doubt one of the causes of the great mortality 
among them.) 

"Administrator followed administrator until 
the mission could support no more, win 11 

the system was broken up." The 

Indians during this period were continually run- 

ning off. Scantily clothed and still more scant- 
ily supplied with food, it was not to be wondered 
at. Nearly all the Gabrielinos went north, while 
those of San Diego, San Luis and San Juan 
overrun this country, filling the Angeles and 
surrounding ranchos with more servants than 
were required. Labor, in consequence, was 
very cheap. The different missions, however, 
had alcaldes continually on the move, hunting 
them up and carrying them back, but to no pur- 
pose; it was labor in vain." 

"Even under the dominion of the church in 
mission days," Reid says, "the neophytes were 
addicted both to drinking and gaming, with 
an inclination to steal;" but after their emanci- 
pation they went from bad to worse. Those at- 
tached to the ranchos and those located in the 
town were virtually slaves. They had bosses 
or owners and when they ran away were cap- 
tured and returned to their master. The account 
book for 1840 of the sindico of Los Angeles 
contains this item. "For the delivery of two 
Indians to their boss $12." 

In all the large towns there was an Indian 
village known as the pueblito or little town. 
These were the sink holes of crime and the 
favorite resorts of dissolute characters, both 
white and red. The Indian village at Los An- 
geles between what is now Aliso and First street 
became such an intolerable nuisance that on 
petition of the citizens it was removed across 
the river to the "Spring of the Abilas," but its 
removal did not improve its morals. Vicente 
Guerrero, the sindico, discussing the Indian 
question before the ayuntamiento said, "The In- 
dians are so utterly depraved that no matter 
where they may settle down their conduct would 
be the same, since they look upon death even 
with indifference, provided they can indulge in 
their pleasures and vices." This was their con- 
dition in less than a decade after they were freed 
from mission control. 

What did six decades of mission rule accom- 
plish for the Indian? In all the older missions 
between their founding and their secularization 
three generations of adults had come under the 
influence of mission life and training — first, the 
adull converts made soon after the founding; 
second, their children born at the missions, and 



third, the children of these who had grown to 
manhood before the fall of the missions. How 
great an improvement had the neophytes of the 
third generation made over those of the first? 
They had to a great extent lost their original 
language and had acquired a speaking knowl- 
edge of Spanish. They had abandoned or 
forgotten their primitive religious belief, but 
their new religion exercised but little influence 
on their lives. After their emancipation they 
went from bad to worse. Some of the more 
daring escaped to the mountains and joining 
the wild tribes there became the leaders in 
frequent predatory excursions on the horses and 
cattle of the settlers in the valleys. They were 
hunted down and shot like wild beasts. 

What became of the mission estates? As the 
cattle were killed off the different ranchos of 
the mission domains, settlers petitioned the 
ayuntamiento for grants. If upon investigation 
it was found that the land asked for was vacant 
the petition was referred to the governor for his 
approval. In this way the vast mission domains 
passed into private hands. The country im- 
proved more in wealth and population between 
1836 and 1846 than in the previous fifty years. 
Secularization was destruction to the mission 

and death to the Indian, but it was beneficial 
to the country at large. The decline of the mis- 
sions and the passing of the neophyte had be- 
gun long before the decrees of secularization 
were enforced. Nearly all the missions passed 
their zenith in population during the second 
decade of the century. Even had the mission- 
ary establishments not been secularized they 
would eventually have been depopulated. At no 
time during the mission rule were the number 
of births equal to the number of deaths. When 
recruits could no longer be obtained from the 
Gentiles or wild Indians the decline became 
more rapid. The mission annals show that from 
1769 to 1834, when secularization was enforced 
— an interval of sixty-five years — 79,000 con- 
verts were baptized and 62,000 deaths recorded. 
The death rate among the neophytes was about 
twice that of the negro in this country and 
four times that of the white race. The extinc- 
tion of the neophyte or mission Indian was 
due to the enforcement of that inexorable law 
or decree of nature, the Survival of the Fittest. 
Where a stronger race comes in contact with 
a weaker, there can be but one termination 
of the contest — the extermination of the 



GOVERNOR FIGUEROA on his death- 
bed turned over the civil command of 
the territory to Jose Castro, who there- 
b) became "gefe politico ad interem." The 
military command was given to Lieut.-Col. 
Xicolas Gutierrez with the rank of comandante 
general. The separation of the two commands 
was in accordance with the national law of May 
6, 1822. 

Castro was a member of the diputacion, but 
was not senior vocal i r president. Jose An- 
tonio Carrillo, who held that position, was 
diputado or delegate to congress and was at 
that time in the city of Mexico. It was he who 
secured the decree from the Mexican Congress 
May 23, 1835, making Los Angeles the capital 

of California, and elevating it to the rank of a 
city. The second vocal, Jose Antonio Estudillo, 
was sick at his home in San Diego. Jose ( as 
tro ranked third. He was the onl) one of the 
diputacion at the capital and at the previous 
meeting of the diputacion he had acted as pre- 
siding officer. Gutierrez, who was at San Ga- 
briel when appointed to the military command, 
hastened to Monterey, but did not reach there 
until after the death of Figi ro, on 

assuming command, sent a notification of bis 
appointment to the civil authorities of the dif- 
ferent jurisdictions. All 1 .rably 
, xcept San ! >i< go ind Los A 
claimed the office for Estudillo, second vocal, 
and Los Angeles declared igainsl Castro be- 



cause he was only third vocal and demanded that 
the diputacion should meet at the legal capital 
(Los Angeles) of the territory. This was the 
beginning of the capital war that lasted ten years 
and increased in bitterness as it increased in 
age. The diputacion met at Monterey. It de- 
cided in favor of Castro and against removing 
the capital to Los Angeles. 

Castro executed the civil functions of gefe 
politico four months and then, in accordance 
with orders from the supreme government, he 
turned over his part of the governorship to 
Comandante General Gutierrez and again the 
two commands were united in one person. 
Gutierrez filled the office of "gobernador in- 
terno" from January 2, 1836, to the arrival of his 
successor, Mariano Chico. Chico had been ap- 
pointed governor by President Barragan, Decem- 
ber 16, 1835, Dut ^id not arr ' ve m California 
until April, 1836. Thus California had four 
governors within nine months. They changed 
so rapidly there was not time to foment a rev- 
olution. Chico began his administration by a 
series of pett) tyrannies. Just before his ar- 
rival in California a vigilance committee at Los 
Angeles shot to death Gervacio Alispaz and his 
paramour, Maria del Rosaria Villa, for the mur- 
der of the woman's husband, Domingo Feliz. 
Alispaz was a countryman of Chico. Chico had 
the leaders arrested and came down to Los 
Angeles with the avowed purpi se of executing 
Prudon, Arzaga and Aranjo, the president, sec- 
retary and military commander, respectively, of 
the Defenders of Public Security, as the vigi- 
lantes called themselves. He announced his 
intention of arresting and punishing every man 
who had taken part in the banishment of Gov- 
ernor Victoria. He summoned Don Abel 
Stearns to Monterey and threatened to have him 
shot for -nine imaginary offense. He fulminated 
a fierce pronunciamento against foreigners, that 
incurred their wrath, and made himself so odious 
that he was hated b\ all. native or foreigner, 
lie was a centralist and opposed to popular 
rights. Exasperated beyond endurance by his 
Ions conduct and unseemly exhibitions of 
temper the people of Monterey rose en masse 
against him. and so terrified him that he took 
passage on board a brig that was lying in the 

harbor and sailed for Mexico with the threat 
that he would return with an armed iorce to 
punish the rebellious Californians, but he never 
came back again. 

With the enforced departure of Chico, the 
civil command of the territory devolved upon 
Nicolas Gutierrez, who still held the military 
command. He was of Spanish birth and a cen- 
tralist or anti-federalist in politics. Although a 
mild mannered man he seemed to be impressed 
with the idea that he must carry out the arbi- 
trary measures of his predecessor. Centralism 
was his nemesis. Like Chico, he was opposed 
to popular rights and at one time gave orders 
to disperse the diputacion by force. He was 
not long in making himself unpopular by at- 
tempting to enforce the centralist decrees of the 
Mexican Congress. 

He quarreled with Juan Bautista Alvarado, 
the ablest of the native Californians. Alvarado 
and Jose Castro raised the standard of revolt. 
They gathered together a small army of ranch- 
eros and an auxiliary force of twenty-five Amer- 
ican hunters and trappers under Graham, a 
backwoodsman from Tennessee. By a strategic 
movement they captured the castillo or fort 
which commanded the presidio, where Gutierrez 
and the Mexican army officials were stationed. 
The patriots demanded the surrender of the 
presidio and the arms. The governor refused. 
The revolutionists had been able to find but 
a single cannon ball in the castillo, but this was 
sufficient to do the business. A well-directed 
shot tore through the roof of the governor's 
house, covering him and his staff with the debris 
of broken tiles; that and the desertion of most 
of his soldiers to the patriots brought him to 
terms. On the 5th of November, 1836, he sur- 
rendered the presidio and resigned his authority 
as governor. He and about seventy of his ad- 
herents were sent aboard a vessel lying in the 
harbor and shipped out of the country. 

With the Mexican governor and his officers 
out of the country, the next move of Castro and 
Alvarado was to call a meeting of the diputa- 
cion or territorial congress. A plan for the 
independence of California was adopted. This, 
which was known afterwards as the Monterey 
plan, consisted of six sections, the most tin- 



portant of which were as follows: "First, Alta 
California hereby declares itself independent 
from Mexico until the Federal System of 1824 
is restored. Second, the same California is 
hereby declared a free and sovereign state; es- 
tablishing a congress to enact the special laws 
of the country and the other necessary supreme 
powers. Third, the Roman Apostolic Catholic 
religion shall prevail; no other creed shall be 
allowed, but the government shall not molest 
anyone on account of his private opinions." 
The diputacion issued a declaration of independ- 
ence that arraigned the mother country, Mexico, 
and her officials very much in the style that our 
own Declaration gives it to King George III. 
and England. 

Castro issued a pronunciamiento, ending with 
Viva La Federacion! Viva La Libertad! Viva 
el Estado Libre y Soberano de Alta California! 
Thus amid vivas and proclamations, with the 
beating of drums and the booming of cannon, 
El Estado Libre de Alta California (The Free 
State of Alta California) was launched on the 
political sea. But it was rough sailing for the 
little craft. Her ship of state struck a rock and 
lor a time shipwreck was threatened. 

For years there had been a growing jealousy 
between Northern and Southern California. 
Los Angeles, as has been stated before, had by a 
decree of the Mexican congress been made the 
capital of the territory. Monterey had per- 
sistently refused to give up the governor and 
the archives. In the movement to make Alta 
California a free and independent state, the An- 
gelenos recognized an attempt on the part of 
the people of the north to deprive them of the 
capital. Although as bitterly opposed to Mex- 
ican governors, and as active in fomenting revo- 
lutions against them as the people of Monterey, 
the Angelenos chose to profess loyalty to the 
mother country. They opposed the plan of 
government adopted by the congress at Mon- 
terey and promulgated a plan of their own, in 
which they declared California was not free; 
that the "Roman Catholic Apostolic religion 
shall prevail in this jurisdiction, and any person 
publicly professing any other shall be pros- 
ecuted by law as heretofore." A mass meeting 
was called to take measures "to prevent the 

spreading of the Monterey revolution, so that 
the progress of the nation may not be 
paralyzed," and to appoint a person to take mil- 
itary command of the department. 

San Diego and San Luis Rev took the part 
of Los Angeles in the quarrel, Sonoma and San 
Jose joined Monterey, while Santa Barbara, al- 
ways conservative, was undecided, but finally 
issued a plan of her own. Alvarado and Castro 
determined to suppress the revolutionary An- 
gelenos. They collected a force of one hun- 
dred men, made up of natives, with Graham's 
contingent of twenty-five American riflemen. 
With this army they prepared to move against 
the recalcitrant surenos. 

The ayuntamiento of Los Angeles began 
preparations to resist the invaders. An army of 
two hundred and seventy men was enrolled, a 
part of which was made up of neophytes. To se- 
cure the sinews of war Jose Sepulveda, second al- 
calde, was sent to the Mission San Fernando 
to secure what money there was in the hands of 
the major domo. He returned with two pack- 
ages, which, when counted, were found to con- 
tain $2,000. 

Scouts patrolled the Santa Barbara road as 
far as San Buenaventura to give warning of the 
approach of the enemy, and pickets guarded the 
Pass of Cahuenga and the Rodeo de Las Aguas 
to prevent northern spies from entering and 
southern traitors from getting out of the pueblo. 
The southern army was stationed at San Fer- 
nando under the command of Alferez (Lieut.) 
Rocha. Alvarado and Castro, pushing down the 
coast, reached Santa Barbara, where they were 
kindly received and their force recruited to one 
hundred and twenty men with two pieces of 
artillery. Jose Sepulveda at San Fernando sent 
to Los Angeles for the cannon at the town 
house and $200 of the mission mi mey to pay his 

( In the 16th of January. [837, Alvarado from 
San Buenaventura dispatched a communication 
to the ayuntamiento of Los Angeles and the 
citizens, telling their vhat military resources 
he had, which he would use against them if it 
became necessary, but he was willing to confer 
upi m a plan ment. Sepulveda and An- 

tonio M. Osio were appointed commissioners 



and sent to confer with the governor, armed 
with several propositions, the substance of 
which was that California shall not be free and 
the Catholic religion must prevail with the 
privilege to prosecute any other religion, "ac- 
cording to law as heretofore." The commission- 
ers met Alvarado on "neutral ground," between 
San Fernando and San Buenaventura. A long 
discussion followed without either coming to the 
point. Alvarado, by a coup d'etat, brought it 
to an end. In the language of the commission- 
ers' report to the ayuntamiento: "While we 
were a certain distance from our own forces with 
only four unarmed men and were on the point of 
coming to an agreement with Juan B. Alvarado, 
we saw the Monterey division advancing upon 
us and we were forced to deliver up the instruc- 
tions of this illustrious body through fear of 
being attacked." They delivered up not only 
the instructions, but the Mission San Fer- 
nando. The southern army was compelled to 
surrender it and fall back on the pueblo, Rocha 
swearing worse than "our army in Flanders" 
because he w'as not allowed to fight. The south- 
ern soldiers had a wholesome dread of Gra- 
ham's riflemen. These fellows, armed with long 
Kentucky rifles, shot to kill, and a battle once 
begun somebody would have died for his coun- 
try and it would not have been Alvarado's rifle- 

The day after the surrender of the mission, 
January 21, 1837, the ayuntamiento held a ses- 
sion and the members were as obdurate and 
belligerent as ever. They resolved that it was 
only in the interests of humanity that the mis- 
sion had been surrendered and their army 
forced to retire. "This ayuntamiento, consider- 
ing the commissioners wore forced to comply, 
annuls all action of the commissioners and does 
not recognize this territory as a free and sov- 
ereign state nor Juan B. Alvarado as its gov- 
ernor, and declares itself in favor of the Supreme 
Government of Mexico." A few days later Al- 
varado entered the city without opposition, the 
Angelenian soldiers retiring to San Gabriel and 
from there scattering to their homes. 

On the 26th of January an extraordinary 
v. ssion of the most illustrious ayuntamiento was 
held. Alvarado was present and made a lengthy 

speech, in which he said, "The native sons were 
subjected to ridicule by the Mexican mandarins 
sent here, and knowing our rights we ought to 
shake off the ominous yoke of bondage." Then 
he produced and read the six articles of the 
Monterey plan, the council also produced a plan 
and a treaty of amity was effected. Alvarado 
was recognized as governor pro tem. and peace 
reigned. The belligerent surenos vied with each 
other in expressing their admiration for the new 
order of things. Pio Pico wished to ex- 
press the pleasure it gave him to see a "hijo 
del pais" in office. And Antonio Osio, 
the most belligerent of the surenos, declared 
"that sooner than again submit to a Mexican 
dictator as governor, he would flee to the forest 
and be devoured by wild beasts." The ayunta- 
miento was asked to provide a building for the 
government, "this being the capital of the state." 
The hatchet apparently was buried. Peace 
reigned in El Estado Libre. At the meeting of 
the town council, on the 30th of January, Al- 
varado made another speech, but it was neither 
conciliatory nor complimentary. He arraigned 
the "traitors who were working against the 
peace of the country" and urged the members to 
take measures "to liberate the city from the 
hidden hands that will tangle them in their own 
ruin." The pay of his troops who were ordered 
here for the welfare of California is due "and 
it is an honorable and preferred debt, therefore 
the ayuntamiento will deliver to the government 
the San Fernando money," said he. With a 
wry face, very much such as a boy wears when 
he is told that he has been spanked for his own 
good, the alcalde turned over the balance of 
the mission money to Juan Bautista, and the 
governor took his departure for Monterey, 
leaving, however, Col. Jose Castro with part of 
his army stationed at Mission San Gabriel, os- 
tensibly "to support the city's authority," but in 
reality to keep a close watch on the city author- 

Los Angeles was subjugated, peace reigned 
and El Estado Libre de Alta California took her 
place among the nations of the earth. But 
peace's reign was brief. At the meeting of the 
ayuntamiento May 27, 1838, Juan Bandini and 
Santiago E. Arguello of San Diego, appeared 



with a pronunciamiento and a plan, San 
Diego's plan of government. Monterey, Santa 
Barbara and Los Angeles had each formulated 
a plan of government for the territory, and now 
it was San Diego's turn. Agustin V. Zamorano, 
who had been exiled with Governor Gutierrez, 
had crossed the frontier and was made comand- 
ante-general and territorial political chief ad 
interim by the San Diego revolutionists. The 
plan restored California to obedience to the 
supreme government; all acts of the diputa- 
cion and the Monterey plan were annulled and 
the northern rebels were to be arraigned and 
tried for their part in the revolution; and so on 
through twenty articles. 

On the plea of an Indian outbreak near San 
Diego, in which the redmen, it was said, "were 
to make an end of the white race," the big can- 
non and a number of men were secured at Los 
Angeles to assist in suppressing the Indians, 
but in reality to reinforce the army of the San 
Diego revolutionists. With a force of one hun- 
dred and twenty-five men under Zamorano and 
Portilla, "the army of the supreme government" 
moved against Castro at Los Angeles. Castro 
retreated to Santa Barbara and Portilla's army- 
took position at San Fernando. 

The civil and military officials of Los Angeles 
took the oath to support the Mexican consti- 
tution of 1836 and, in their opinion, this 
absolved them from all allegiance to Juan Bau- 
tista and his Monterey plan. Alvarado hurried 
reinforcements to Castro at Santa Barbara, and 
Portilla called loudly for "men, arms and 
horses," to march against the northern rebels. 
But neither military chieftain advanced, and the 
summer wore away without a battle. There 
were rumors that Mexico was preparing to send 
an army of one thousand men to subjugate the 
rebellious Californians. In October came the 
news that Jose Antonio Carrillo, the Machiavelli 
of California politics, had persuaded President 
Pustamente to appoint Carlos Carrillo, Jose's 
brother, governor of Alta California. 

Then consternation seized the arribenos (up- 
pers) of the north and the abajehos (lowers) of 
Los Angeles went wild with joy. It was not 
that they loved Carlos Carrillo. for he was a 
Santa Barbara man and had opposed them in 

the late unpleasantness, but they saw in his ap- 
pointment an opportunity to get revenge on 
Juan Bautista for the way he had humiliated 
them. They sent congratulatory messages to 
Carrillo and invited him to make Los Angeles 
the seat of his government. Carrillo was flat- 
tered by their attentions and consented. The 
6th of December, 1837, was set for his inaugura- 
tion, and great preparations were made for the 
event. The big cannon was brought over from 
San Gabriel to fire salutes and the city was 
ordered illuminated on the nights of the 6th, 
7th and 8th of December. Cards of invitation 
were issued and the people from the city and 
country were invited to attend the inauguration 
ceremonies, "dressed as decent as possible," so 
read the invitations. 

The widow Josefa Alvarado's house, the fin- 
est in the city, was secured for the governor's 
palacio (palace). The largest hall in the city 
was secured for the services and decorated as 
well as it was possible. The city treasury, being 
in its usual state of collapse, a subscription for 
defraying the expenses was opened and horses, 
hides and tallow, the current coin of the pueblo, 
were liberally contributed. 

On the appointed day. "the most illustrious 
ayuntamiento and the citizens of the neighbor- 
hood(sothe old archives read)met his excellency, 
the governor, Don Carlos Carrillo, who made 
his appearance with a magnificent accompani- 
ment." The secretary, Narciso Botello, "read in 
a loud, clear and intelligible voice, the oath, and 
the governor repeated it after him." At the 
moment the oath was completed, the artillery 
thundered forth a salute and the bells rang out 
a merrv peal. The governor made a speech, 
when all adjourned to the church, where a mas> 
was said and a solemn Te Dunn sung: after 
which all repaired to the house of his excellency, 
where the southern patriots drank his health in 
bumpers of wine and shouted themselves hoarse 
in vivas to the new government. An inaugura- 
tion ball was In Id- the "beauty and the chivalry 
of the south were gathered there." I lutside the 
tallow dips flared and flickered from the porticos 
of the house, bonfires blazed in the streets and 
cannon boomed salvs from the old plaza. Los 
Angeles was the capital at last and had a gov- 



ernor all to herself, for Santa Barbara refused 
to recognize Carrillo, although he belonged 
within its jurisdiction. 

The Angelenos determined to subjugate the 
Barbarenos. An army of two hundred men, 
under Castenada, was sent to capture the city. 
After a few futile demonstrations, Castenada's 
forces fell back to San Buenaventura. 

Then Alvarado determined to subjugate the 
Angelenos. He and Castro, gathering together 
an army of two hundred men. by forced marches 
reached San .Buenaventura, and by a strategic 
movement captured all of Castenada's horses 
and drove his army into the mission church. 
For two days the battle raged and, "cannon to 
the right of them," and "cannon in front of them 
volleyed and thundered." One man was killed 
on the northern side and the blood of several 
mustangs watered the soil of their native land — 
died for their country. The southerners slipped 
out of the church at night and fled up the val- 
ley on foot. Castro's caballeros captured about 
seventy prisoners. Bio Pico, with reinforce- 
ments, met the remnant of Castenada's arm)- at 
the Santa Clara river, and together all fell back 
to Los Angeles. Then there was wailing in the 
old pueblo, where so lately there had been re- 
joicing. Gov. Carlos Carrillo gathered to- 
gether what men he could get to go with him 
and retreated to San Diego. Alvarado's army 
took possession of the southern capital and 
some of the leading conspirators were sent as 
prisoners to the Castillo at Sonoma. 

Carrillo, at San Diego, received a small re- 
inforcement from Mexico, under a Captain 
Tobar. Tobar was made general and given 
command of the southern army. Carrillo, hav- 
ing recovered from his fright, sent an order to 
the northern rebels to surrender within fifteen 
days under penalty of being shot as traitors if 
they refused. In the meantime Los Angeles 
was held by the enemy. The second alcalde 
(the first, Louis Aranas, was a prisoner) called 
a meeting to devise some means "to have his 
excellency, Don Carlos Carrillo, return to this 
capital, as his presence is very much desired by 
the citizens to protect their lives and property." 
\ committee was appointed to locate Don 

Instead of surrendering, Castro and Alvarado, 
with a force of two hundred men, advanced 
against Carrillo. The two armies met at Campo 
de Las Flores. General Tobar had fortified a 
cattle corral with rawhides, carretas and cot- 
tonw : ood poles. A few shots from Alvarado's 
artillery scattered Tobar's rawhide fortifications. 
Carrillo surrendered. Tobar and a few of the 
leaders escaped to Mexico. Alvarado ordered 
the misguided Angelehian soldiers to go home 
and behave themselves. He brought the captive 
governor back with him and left him with his 
(Carrillo's) wife at Santa Barbara, who became 
surety for the deposed ruler. Not content with 
his unfortunate attempts to rule, he again 
claimed the governorship on the plea that he 
had been appointed by the supreme government. 
But the Angelenos had had enough of him. 
Disgusted with his incompetency, Juan Gallardo, 
at the session of May 14, 1838, presented a pe- 
tition praying that this ayuntamiento do not rec- 
ognize Carlos Carrillo as governor, and setting 
forth the reasons why we, the petitioners, 
"should declare ourselves subject to the north- 
ern governor" and why they opposed Car- 

"First. In having compromised the people 
from San Buenaventura south into a declara- 
tion of war, the incalculable calamities of which 
will never be forgotten, not even by the most 

"Second. Not satisfied with the unfortunate 
event of San Buenaventura, he repeated the 
same at Campo de Las Flores. which, only 
through a divine dispensation, California is not 
to-day in mourning." Seventy citizens signed 
the petition, but the city attorney, who had done 
time in Yallejo's castillo, decided the petition il- 
legal because it was written on common paper 
when paper with the proper seal could be ob- 

Next day Gallardo returned with his petition 
on legal paper. The ayuntamiento decided to 
sound the "public alarm" and call the people to- 
gether to give them "public speech." The pub- 
lic alarm was sounded. The people assembled 
at the city hall: speeches were made 011, both 
sides; and when the vote was taken twenty-two 
were in favor of the northern governor, five 



in favor of whatever the ayuntamiento decides, 
and Serbulo Yareles alone voted for Don Carlos 
Carrillo. So the council decided to recognize 
Don Juan I!autista Alvarado as governor and 
leave the supreme government to settle the con- 
test between him and Carrillo. 

Notwithstanding this apparent burying of the 
hatchet, there were rumors of plots and in- 
trigues in Los Angeles and San Diego against 
Alvarado. At length, aggravated beyond en- 
durance, the governor sent word to the surenos 
that if they did not behave themselves he would 
shoot ten of the leading men of the south. As 
he had about that number locked up in the 
Castillo at Sonoma, his was no idle threat. One 
by one Alvarado's prisoners of state were re- 
leased from Yallejo's bastile at Sonoma and re- 
turned to Los Angeles, sadder if not wiser men. 
At the session of the ayuntamiento October 20, 
1838, the president announced that Senior 
Regidor Jose Palomares had returned from 
Sonoma, where he had been compelled to go 
by 'reason of "political differences," and that he 
should be allowed his seat in the council. The 
request was granted unanimously. 

At the next meeting Narciso Botello, its for- 
mer secretary, after five and a half months' im- 
prisonment at Sonoma, put in an appearance ami 
claimed his office and his pay. Although others 
had filled the office in the interim the illustrious 
ayuntamiento, "ignoring for what offense he was 
incarcerated, could not suspend his salary." 
But his salary was suspended. The treasury 
was empty. The last horse and the last hide had 
been paid out to defray the expense of the in- 
auguration festivities of Carlos, the Pretender, 
and the civil war that followed. Indeed there 
was a treasury deficit of whole caballadas of 
horses, and bales of hides. Xarciso's back pay 

was a preferred claim that outlasted El Estado 

The surenos of Los Angeles and San Diego, 
finding that in Alvarado they had a man of cour- 
age and determination to deal with, ceased from 
troubling him and submitted to the inevitable. 
At the meeting of the ayuntamiento, October 5, 
1839, a notification was received, stating that the 
supreme government of Mexico had appointed 
Juan Bautista Alvarado governor of the depart- 
ment. There was no grumbling or dissent. ( >n 
the contrary, the records say, "This illustrious 
body acknowledges receipt of the communica- 
tion and congratulated his excellency. It will 
announce the same to the citizens to-morrow 
(Sunday), will raise the national colors, salute 
the same with the required number of volleys, 
and will invite the people to illuminate their 
houses for a better display in rejoicing at such 
a happy appointment." With his appointment 
by the supreme government the "free and sov- 
ereign state of Alta California" became a dream 
of the past — a dead nation. Indeed, months be- 
fore Alvarado had abandoned his idea of found- 
ing an independent state and had taken the oath 
of allegiance to the constitution of 1836. The 
loyal surenos received no thanks from the su- 
preme government for all their professions of 
loyalty, whilst the rebellious arriberios of the 
north obtained all the rewards — the governor, 
the capital and the offices. The supreme -"\ 
ernment gave the deposed governor, Carlos 
Carrillo, a grant of the island of Santa Rosa, 
in the Santa Barbara Channel, but whether it 
was given him as a sake to his wounded dignity 
or as an Elba or St. Helena, where, in the event 
of his stirring up another revolution, he might 
be banished a la Napoleon, the records <h> not 
inform us. 




WHILE the revolution begun by Al- 
varado and Castro had not established 
California's independence, it had effect- 
ually rid the territory of Mexican dictators. 
A native son was governor of the depart- 
ment of the Californians (by the constitu- 
tion of 1836 Upper and Lower California had 
been united into a department); another native 
son was comandante of its military forces. The 
membership of the departmental junta, which 
had taken the place of the diputacion, was 
largely made up of sons of the soil, and natives 
filled the minor offices. In their zeal to rid 
themselves of Mexican office-holders they had 
invoked the assistance of another element that 
was ultimately to be their undoing. 

During the revolutionary era just passed the 
foreign population had largely increased. Xot 
only had the foreigners come by sea, but they 
had come by land. Capt. Jedediah S. Smith, a 
New England-born trapper and hunter, was the 
first man to enter California by the overland 
route. A number of trappers and hunters came 
in the early '30s from New Mexico by way of 
the old Spanish trail. This immigration was 
largely American, and was made up of a bold, 
adventurous class of men, some of them not 
the' most desirable immigrants. Of this latter 
class were some of Graham's followers. 

By invoking Graham's aid to put him in 
power, Alvarado had fastened upon his shoul- 
ders an old Man of the Sea. It was easy enough 
to enlist the services of Graham's riflemen, but 
altogether another matter to get rid of them. 
Now that he was firmly established in power, 
Alvarado would, no doubt, have been glad to be 
rid entirely of his recent allies, but Graham and 
his adherents were not backward in giving him 
to understand that he owed his position to them, 
and they wer< inclined to put themselves on an 
equality with him. This did not comport with 
his ideas of the dignity of his office. To be 

hailed by some rough buckskin-clad trapper 
with "Ho! Bautista; come here, I want to speak 
with you," was an affront to his pride that the 
governor of the two Californias could not 
quietly pass over, and, besides, like all of his 
countrymen, he disliked foreigners. 

There were rumors of another revolution, and 
it was not difficult to persuade Alvarado that 
the foreigners were plottingto revolutionize Cal- 
ifornia. Mexico had recently lost Texas, and 
the same class of "malditos extranjeros" (wicked 
strangers) were invading California, and would 
ultimately possess themselves of the country. Ac- 
cordingly, secret orders were sent throughout 
the department to arrest and imprison all for- 
eigners. Over one hundred men of different 
nationalities were arrested, principally Amer- 
icans and English. Of these forty-seven were 
shipped to San Bias, and from there marched 
overland to Tepic, where they were imprisoned 
for several months. Through the efforts of the 
British consul, Barron, they were released. 
Castro, who had accompanied the prisoners to 
Mexico to prefer charges against them, was 
placed under arrest and afterwards tried by 
court-martial, but was acquitted. He had been 
acting under orders from his superiors. After 
an absence of over a year twenty of the exiles 
landed at Monterey on their return from Mex- 
ico. Robinson, who saw them land, says: 
"They returned neatly dressed, armed with rifles 
and swords, and looking in much better condi- 
tion than when they were sent away, or probably 
than they had ever looked in their lives before." 
The Mexican government had been compelled 
to pay them damages for their arrest and im- 
prisonment and to return them to California. 
Graham, the reputed leader of the foreigners, 
was the owner of a distillery near Santa Cruz, 
and had gathered a number of hard characters 
around him. It would have been no loss had he 
never returned. 



The only other event of importance during 
Alvarado's term as governor was the capture of 
Monterey by Commodore Ap Catesby Jones, of 
the United States navy. This event happened 
after Alvarado's successor, Micheltorena, had 
landed in California, but before the government 
had been formally turned over to him. 

The following extract from the diary of a 
pioneer, who was an eye-witness of the affair, 
gives a good description of the capture: 

"Monterey, Oct. 19, 1842. — At 2 p. 111. the 
United States man-of-war United States, Com- 
modore Ap Catesby Jones, came to anchor close 
alongside and in-shore of all the ships in port. 
About 3 p. m. Capt. Armstrong came ashore, 
accompanied by an interpreter, and went direct 
to the governor's house, where he had a private 
conversation with him, which proved to be a 
demand for the surrender of the entire coast of 
California, upper and lower, to the United 
States government. When he was about to go 
on board he gave three or four copies of a 
proclamation to the inhabitants of the two Cali- 
fornias, assuring them of the protection of their 
lives, persons and property. In his notice to the 
governor (Alvarado) he gave him only until the 
following morning at 9 a. m. to decide. If he 
received no answer, then he would fire upon the 

"I remained on shore that night and went 
down to the governor's with Mr. Larkin and 
Mr. Eagle. The governor had had some idea 
of running away and leaving Monterey to its 
fate, but was told by Mr. Spence that he should 
not go, and finally he resolved to await the re- 
sult. At 12 at night some persons were sent 
on board the United States who had been ap- 
pointed by the governor to meet the commodore 
and arrange the terms of the surrender. Next 
morning at half-past ten o'clock about one hun- 
dred sailors and fifty marines disembarked. The 
sailors marched up from the shore and took pos- 
session of the fort. The American colors were 
hoisted. The United States fired a salute of thir- 
teen guns ; it was returned by the fort, which fired 
twenty-six guns. The marines in the meantime 
had marched up to the government house. The 
officers and soldiers of the California govern- 
ment were discharged and their guns and other 

arms taken possession of and carried to the fort. 
The stars and stripes now wave over us. Long 
may they wave here in California!" 

"Oct. 21, 4 p. m. — Elags were again changed, 
the vessels were released, and all was quiet again. 
The commodore had received later news by 
some Mexican newspapers." 

Commodore Jones had been stationed at Cal- 
lao with a squadron of four vessels. An English 
fleet was also there, and a French fleet was 
cruising in the Pacific. Both these were sup- 
posed to have designs on California. Jones 
learned that the English admiral had received 
orders to sail next day. Surmising that his des- 
tination might be California, he slipped out of 
the harbor the night before and crowded all sail 
to reach California before the English admiral. 
The loss of Texas, and the constant influx of im- 
migrants and adventurers from the United 
States into California, had embittered the Mex- 
ican government more and more against 
foreigners. Manuel Micheltorena, who had 
served under Santa Anna in the Texas war, 
was appointed January 19, 1842, comandanfe- 
general inspector and gobernador propietario of 
the Californias. 

Santa Anna was president of the Mexican re- 
public. His experience with Americans in 
Texas during the Texan war of independence, 
in 1836-37, had determined him to use ever) 
effort to prevent California from sharing the fate 
of Texas. 

Micheltorena, the newly-appointed governor, 
was instructed to take with him sufficient f< iree 
to check the ingress of Americans. He recruited 
a force of three hundred and fifty men. prin- 
cipally convicts enlisted from the prisons of 
Mexico. His army of thieves and ragamuffins 
landed at San Diego in August, 1842. 

Robinson, who was at San Diego when one 
of the vessels conveying Micheltorena's cholos 
(convicts) landed, thus describes them: "Five 
days afterward the brig ChatO arrived with 
ninety soldiers and their families. I saw them 
land, and to me they presented a state of 
wretchedness and misery unequaled. Not one 
individual among them possessed a iacket or 
pantaloons, but. naked, and like the savage In- 
dians, they concealed their nudity with dirty, 



miserable blankets. The females were not much 
better off, for the scantiness of their mean ap- 
parel was too apparent for modest observers. 
They appeared like convicts, and, indeed, the 
greater portion of them had been charged with 
crime, either of murder or theft." 

Micheltorena drilled his Falstaffian army at 
San Diego for several weeks and then began his 
march northward; Los Angeles made great 
preparations to receive the new governor. Seven 
years had passed since she had been decreed the 
capital of the territory, and in all these years 
she had been denied her rights by Monterey. 
A favorable impression on the new governor 
might induce him to make the ciudad his capital. 
The national fiesta of September 16 was post- 
poned until the arrival of the governor. The 
best house in the town was secured for him 
and his staff. A grand ball was projected 
and the city illuminated the night of his arrival. 
A camp was established down by the river and 
the cholos, who in the meantime had been given 
white linen uniforms, were put through the drill 
and the manual of arms. They were incorrigible 
thieves, and stole for the very pleasure of steal- 
ing. They robbed the hen roosts, the orchards, 
the vineyards and the vegetable gardens of the 
citizens. To the Angeleiios the glory of their 
city as the capital of the territory faded in the 
presence of their empty chicken coops and 
plundered orchards. They longed to speed the 
departure of their now unwelcome guests. After 
a stay of a month in the city Micheltorena and 
his army took up their line of march northward. 
He reached a point about twenty miles north 
of San Fernando, when, on the night of the 
24th of October, a messenger aroused him from 
his slumbers witli the news that the capital had 
been captured by the Americans. Micheltorena 
seized the occasion to make political capital for 
himself with the home government. He spent 
the remainder of the night in fulminating proc- 
lamations against the invaders fiercer than the 
thunderbolts of Jove, copies of which were dis- 
patched post haste to Mexico. He even wished 
himself a thunderbolt "that he mighl fly over 
intervening space and annihilate the invaders." 
Then, with his own courage and doubtless that 
of his brave cholos aroused to the highest 

pitch, instead of rushing on the invaders, he and 
his army • fled back to San Fernando, where, 
afraid to advance or retreat, he halted until news 
reached him that Commodore Jones had re- 
stored Monterey to the Californians. Then his 
valor reached the boiling point. He boldly 
marched to Los Angeles, established his head- 
quarters in the city and awaited the coming 
of Commodore Jones and his officers from Mon- 

On the 19th of January, 1843, Commodore 
Jones and his staff came to Los Angeles to meet 
the governor. At the famous conference in 
the Palacio de Don Abel, Micheltorena pre- 
sented his articles of convention. Among other 
ridiculous demands were the following: "Ar- 
ticle VI. Thomas Ap C. Jones will deliver fif- 
teen hundred complete infantry uniforms to re- 
place those of nearly one-half of the Mexican 
force, which have been ruined in the violent 
march and the continued rains while they were 
on their way to recover the port thus invaded." 
"Article VII. Jones to pay $15,000 into the 
national treasury for expenses incurred from the 
general alarm; also a complete set of musical 
instruments in place of those ruined on this 
occasion."* Judging from Robinson's descrip- 
tion of the dress of Micheltorena's cholos it is 
doubtful whether there was an entire uniform 
among them. 

"The commodore's first impulse," writes a 
member of his staff, "was to return the papers 
without comment and to refuse further com- 
munication with a man who could have the ef- 
frontery to trump up such charges as those for 
which indemnification was claimed." The com- 
modore on reflection put aside his personal feel- 
ings, and met the governor at the grand ball in 
Sanchez hall, held in honor of the occasion. 
The ball was a brilliant affair, "the dancing 
ceased only with the rising of the sun next 
morning." The commodore returned the articles 
without his signature. The governor did not 
again refer to his demands. Next morning, 
January 21, 1843, Jones and his officers took 
their departure from the city "amidst the beat- 
ing of drums, the firing of cannon and the ring- 

jft's Tli-torv of California. Vol IV 


l i i 

ing of bells, saluted by the general and his wife 
from the door of their quarters. On the 31st 
of December Micheltorena had taken the oath 
of office in Sanchez' hall, which stood on the 
east side of the plaza. Salutes were fired, the 
bells were rung and the city was illuminated 
for three evenings. For the second time a gov- 
ernor had been inaugurated in Los Angeles. 

Micheltorena and his cholo army remained in 
Los Angeles about eight months. The An- 
gelenos had all the capital they cared for. They 
were perfectly willing to have the governor and 
his army take up their residence in Monterey. 
The cholos had devoured the country like an 
army of chapules (locusts) and were willing to 
move on. Monterey would no doubt have gladly 
transferred what right she had to the capital 
if at the same time she could have transferred 
to her old rival, Los Angeles, Micheltorena's 
cholos. Their pilfering was largely enforced 
by their necessities. They received little or no 
pay, and they often had to steal or starve. The 
leading native Californians still entertained their 
old dislike to "Mexican dictators" and the ret- 
inue of three hundred chicken thieves accom- 
panying the last dictator intensified their hatred. 

Micheltorena, while not a model governor, 
had many good qualities and was generally liked 
by the better class of foreign residents. He 
made an earnest effort to establish a system of 
public education in the territory. Schools were 
established in all the principal towns, and ter- 
ritorial aid from the public funds to the amount 
of $500 each was given them. The school at 
Los Angeles had over one hundred pupils in 
attendance. His worst fault was a disposition 
to meddle in local affairs. He was unreliable 
and not careful to keep his agreements. He 
might have succeeded in giving California a 
stable government had it not been for the antip- 
athy to his soldiers and the old feud between 
the "hijos del pais" and the Mexican dictators. 
These proved his undoing. The native sons 
under Alvarado and Castro rose in rebellion. 
In November, 1844, a revolution was inaugu- 
rated at Santa Clara. The governor marched 
with an army of one hundred and fifty men 
against the rebel forces, numbering about two 
hundred. They met at a place called the La- 

guna de Alvires. A treaty was signed in which 
Micheltorena agreed to ship his cholos back to 

This treaty the governor deliberately broke. 
He then intrigued with Capt. John A. Sutter of 
New Helvetia and Isaac Graham to obtain as- 
sistance to crush the rebels. January 9, 1845, 
Micheltorena and Sutter formed a junction of 
their forces at Salinas — their united commands 
numbering about five hundred men. They 
marched against the rebels to crush them. But 
the rebels did not wait to be crushed. Alvarado 
and Castro, with about ninety men, started for 
Los Angeles, and those left behind scattered 
to their homes. Alvarado and his men reached 
Los Angeles on the night of January 20, 1845. 
The garrison stationed at the curate's house 
was surprised and captured. One man was 
killed and several wounded. Lieutenant Me- 
dina, of Micheltorena's army, was the com- 
mander of the pueblo troops. Alvarado's army 
encamped on the plaza and he and Castro set 
to work to revolutionize the old pueblo. The 
leading Angelenos had no great love for Juan 
Ilautista, and did not readily fall into his 
schemes. They had not forgotten their en- 
forced detention in Vallejo's bastile during the 
Civil war. An extraordinary session of the 
ayuntamiento was called January 21. Alvarado 
and Castro were present and made eloquent ap- 
peals. The records say: "The ayuntamiento 
listened, and after a short interval of silence and 
meditation decided to notify the senior member 
of the department assembly of Don Alvarado 
and Castros' wishes." 

They were more successful with the Pico 
brothers. Pio Pico was senior vocal, and in 
case Micheltorena was disposed he, by virtue of 
his office, would become governor. Through 
the influence of the Picos the revolution gained 
ground. The most potent influence in spread- 
ing the revolt was the fear of Micheltorena's 
army of chicken thieves. Should the town be 
captured by them it certainly would be '-■ 
The department assembly was called together. 
A peace commission was sent to meet Michel- 
torena. who was leisurely marching southward, 
and intercede with him to give up his prO| 
invasion of the smith. He refused. Then the 



assembly pronounced him a traitor, deposed 
him by vote and appointed Pio Pico governor. 
Recruiting went on rapidly. Hundreds of sad- 
dle horses were contributed, "old rusty guns 
were repaired, hacked swords sharpened, rude 
lances manufactured" and cartridges made for 
the cannon. Some fifty foreigners of the south 
joined Alvarado's army; not that they had 
much interest in the revolution, but to protect 
their property against the rapacious invaders — 
the cholos — and Sutter's Indians,* who were as 
much dreaded as the cholos. On the 19th of 
February, Micheltorena reached the Encinos, 
and the Angelenian army marched out through 
( 'almenga Pass to meet him. On the 20th the 
two armies met on the southern edge of the 
San Fernando valley, about fifteen miles from 
Los Angeles. Each army numbered about four 
hundred men. Micheltorena had three pieces 
of artillery and Castro two. They opened on 
each other at long range and seem to have 
fought the battle throughout at very long range. 
A mustang or a mule (authorities differ) was 

Wilson, Workman and McKinley of Castro's 
army decided to induce the Americans on the 
other side, many of whom were their personal 
friends, to abandon Micheltorena. Passing up 
a ravine, they succeeded in attracting the atten- 
tion of some of them by means of a white flag. 
( ianttj Hensley and Bidwell joined them in the 
ravine. The situation was discussed and the 
Americans of Micheltorena's army agreed to 
desert him if Pico would protect them in their 
land grants. Wilson, in his account of the bat- 
tle, says:f "I knew, and so did Pico, that these 
land questions were the point with those young 
Americans. Before I started on my journey or 
embassy, Pico was sent for; on his arrival 
among us I, in a few words, explained to him 
what the party had advanced. 'Gentlemen.' said 
he, 'are any of you citizens of Mexico?" They 
answered 'No.' 'Then your title deeds given 
you by Micheltorena are not worth the paper 

*Sutter had under his command ;i company of In- 
dians, lie had drilled these in the use of firearms. 
Mi.' employing of these savages by Micheltorena was 
I'it'rrly resented liy tin- Californians. 

tPtih Historical Society of Southern California. 
Vol. III. 

they are written on, and he knew it well when 
he gave them to you; but if you wiil abandon 
his cause I will give you my word of honor as 
a gentleman, and Don Benito Wilson and Don 
Juan Workman to carry out what I promise, 
that I will protect each one of you in the land 
that you now hold, and when you become citi- 
zens of Mexico I will issue you the proper ti- 
tles.' They said that was all they asked, and 
promised not to fire a gun against us. They also 
asked not to be required to fight on our side, 
which was agreed to. 

"Micheltorena discovered (how, I do not know) 
that his Americans had abandoned him. About 
an hour afterwards he raised his camp and 
Hanked us by going further into the valley to- 
wards San Fernando, then marching as though 
lie intended to come around the bend of the 
river to the city. The Californians and we for- 
eigners at once broke up our camp and came 
back through the Cahuenga Pass, marched 
through the gap into the Feliz ranch, on the 
Los Angeles River, till we came into close 
proximity to Micheltorena's camp. It was now 
night, as it was dark when we broke up our 
camp. Here we waited for daylight, and some 
of our men commenced maneuvering for a fight 
with the enemy. A few cannon shots were 
fired, when a white flag was discovered flying 
from Micheltorena's front. The whole matter 
then went into the hands of negotiators ap- 
pointed by both parties and the terms of sur- 
render were agreed upon, one of which was that 
Micheltorena and his obnoxious officers and 
men were to march back up the river to the 
Cahuenga Pass, then down on the plain to the 
west of Los Angeles, the most direct line to 
San Pedro, and embark at that point on a vessel 
then anchored there to carry them back to Mex- 
ico." Sutter was taken prisoner, and his Indians, 
after being corralled for a time, were sent back 
to the Sacramento. 

The roar of the battle of Cahuenga, or the 
Alamo, as it is sometimes called, could be dis- 
tinctly heard in Los Angeles, and the people 
remaining in the city were greatly alarmed. 
William Heath Davis, in his Sixty Years in Cal- 
ifornia, thus describes the alarm in the town; 
"Directly to the north of the town was a high 



hill" (now known as Mt. Lookout). "As soon 
as firing was heard all the people remaining in 
the town, men, women and children, ran to the 
top of this hill. As the wind was blowing from 
the north, the firing was distinctly heard, five 
leagues away, on the battle-field throughout the 
day. All business places in town were closed. 
The scene on the hill was a remarkable one, 
women and children, with crosses in their hands, 
kneeling and praying to the saints for the safety 
of their fathers, brothers, sons, husbands, lovers, 
cousins, that they might not be killed in the bat- 
tle; indifferent to their personal appearance, 
tears streaming from their eyes, and their hair 
blown about by the wind, which had increased 
to quite a breeze. Don Abel Stearns, myself and 
others tried to calm and pacify them, assuring 
them that there was probably no danger; some- 
what against our convictions, it is true, judg- 
ing from what we heard of the firing and from 
our knowledge of Micheltorena's disciplined 
force, his battery, and the riflemen he had with 
him. During the day the scene on the hill con- 
tinued. The night that followed was a gloomy 
one, caused by the lamentations of the women 
and children." 

Davis, who was supercargo on the Don 
Quixote, the vessel on which Micheltorena and 
his soldiers were shipped to Mexico, claims that 
the general "had ordered his command not to 
injure the Californians in the force opposed to 
him, but to fire over their heads, as he had no 
desire to kill them." 

Another Mexican-born governor had been 
deposed and deported, gone to join his fellows. 
Victoria, Chico and Gutierrez. In accordance 
with the treaty of Cahuenga and by virtue of 
his rank as senior member of the departmental 
assembly, Pio Pico became governor. The hijos 
del pais were once more in the ascendency. 
Jose Castro was made comandante-general. Al- 
varado was given charge of the custom house at 
Monterey, and Jose Antonio Carrillo was ap- 
pointed commander of the military district of 
the south. Los Angeles was made the capital, 
although the archives and the treasurv remained 
in Monterey. The revolution apparently had 
been a success. In the proceedings of the Los 
Angeles ayuntamiento, March i. 1845, appears 

this record: "The agreements entered into at 
Cahuenga between Gen. Emanuel Michel- 
torena and Lieut.-Col. Jose Castro were then 
read, and as they contain a happy termination of 
affairs in favor of the government, this Illustri- 
ous Body listened with satisfaction and so an- 
swered the communication." 

The people joined with the ayuntamiento in 
expressing their "satisfaction" that a "happy 
termination" had been reached of the political 
disturbances which had distracted the country. 
But the end was not yet. Pico did his best to 
conciliate the conflicting elements, but the old 
sectional jealousies that had divided the people 
of the territory would crop out. Jose Antonio 
Carrillo, the Machiaveli of the south, hated Cas- 
tro and Alvarado and was jealous of Pico's good 
fortune. He was the superior of any of them 
in ability, but made himself unpopular by his 
intrigues and his sarcastic speech. When Cas- 
tro and Alvarado can raise the stand- 
ard of revolt they tried to win him over. He 
did assist them. He was willing enough to plot 
against Micheltorena, but after the overthrow 
of the Mexican he was equally ready to plot 
against Pico and Castro. In the summer of 
1845 ne was implicated in a plot to depose Pico, 
who, by the way, was his brother-in-law. Pico 
piaced him and two of his fellow conspirators, 
Serbulo and Hilario Yarela, under arrest. Car- 
rillo and Hilario Yarela were shipped to Mazal- 
Ian to be tried for their misdeed. Serbulo Ya- 
rela made his escape from prison. The two 
exiles returned early in 1846 unpunished and 
ready for new pli its. 

Pico was appointed gobernador proprietario, 
or constitutional governor <>f California, Sep- 
tember 3, 1845, by President Herrera. The su- 
preme government of Mexico never seemed to 
lake offense or harbor resentment against the 
Californians for deposing and -ending home a 
governor. As the officials of the supreme 
ernment usually obtained office by revolution, 
they no doubt had a fellow feeling fur the revolt- 
ing Californians. When Micheltorena returned 
to Mexico he was coldly received and a com- 
missioner was sent to Pico with dispatches vir- 
tually approving all that had been done. 

Castro, too, gave Pico a great deal of uneasi- 


ness. He ignored the governor and managed 
the military affairs of the territory to suit him- 
self. His headquarters were at Monterey and 
doubtless he had the sympathy if not the en- 
couragement of the people of the north in his 
course. But the cause of the greatest uneasi- 
ness was the increasing immigration from the 
United States. A stream of emigrants from the 
western states, increasing each year, poured 
down the Sierra Nevadas and spread over the 
rich valleys of California. The Californians rec- 
ognized that through the advent of these "for- 
eign adventurers,"as they called them, the "man- 
ifest destiny"of California was to be absorbed by 
the United States. Alvarado had appealed to 
Mexico for men and arms and had been an- 
swered by the arrival of Micheltorena and his 
cholos. Pico appealed and for a time the Cali- 
fornians were cheered by the prospect of aid. 

In the summer of 1845 a f° rce °* s ' x hundred 
veteran soldiers, under command of Colonel 
Iniestra, reached Acapulco, where ships were ly- 
ing to take them to California, but a revolution 
broke out in Mexico and the troops destined for 
the defense of California were used to overthrow- 
President Hcrrera and to seat Paredes. Cali- 
fornia was left to work out her own destiny 
unaided or drift with the tide — and she drifted. 
In the early months of 1846 there was a rapid 
succession of important events in her history, 
each in passing bearing her near and nearer to 
a manifest destiny — the downfall of Mexican 
domination in California. These will be pre- 
sented fully in the chapter on the Acquisition of 
California by the United States. But before 
taking up these we will turn aside to review life 
in California in the olden time under Spanish 
and Mexican rule. 



UNDER Spain the government of Califor- 
nia was semi-military and semi-clerical. 
The governors were military officers and 
had command of the troops in the territory, and 
looked after affairs at the pueblos; the friars 
were supreme at the missions. The municipal 
government of the pueblos was vested in ayun- 
tamientos. The decree of the Spanish Cortes 
passed May 23, 1S12, regulated the membership 
of the ayuntamiento according to the popula- 
tion of the town — "there shall be one alcalde 
(mayor), two regidores (councilmen), ami one 
procurador-syndico (treasurer) in all towns 
which do not have more than two hundred in- 
habitants; one alcalde, four regidores and one 
syndico in those the population of which ex- 
ceeds two hundred, but does no.1 exceed five 
hundred." When the population of a town ex- 
ceeded one thousand it was allowed two al- 
caldes, eighl regidores and two syndicos. Over 
the members of the a\ untamiento in the early 
years of Spanish rule was a quasi-military offi- 

cer called a comisionado, a sort of petty dictator 
or military despot, who, when occasion required 
or inclination moved him, embodied within him- 
self all three departments of government, judi- 
ciary, legislative and executive. After Mexico 
became a republic the office of comisionado was 
abolished. The alcalde acted as president of 
the ayuntamiento, as mayor and as judge of 
the court of first instance. The second alcalde 
took his place when that officer was ill or ab- 
sent. The syndico was a general utility man. 
lie acted as city or town attorney, tax collector 
and treasurer. The secretary was an important 
officer; lie kept the records, acted as clerk of 
the alcalde's court and was the only municipal 
officer who received pay. except the syndico, 
who received a commission on his collections. 

In 1837 the Mexican Congress passed a decree 
abolishing ayuntamientos in capitals of depart- 
ments having a population of less than four 
thousand and in interior towns of less than 
eight thousand. In 1839 Governor Alvarado 



reported to the Departmental Assembly that no 
town in California had the requisite population. 
The ayuntamientos all closed January i, 1840. 
They were re-established in 1844. During their 
abolition the towns were governed by prefects 
and justices of the peace, and the special laws 
or ordinances were enacted by the departmental 

The jurisdiction of the ayuntamiento often 
extended over a large area of country beyond 
the town limits. That of Los Angeles, after the 
secularization of the missions, extended over a 
country as large as the state of Massachusetts. 
The authority of the ayuntamiento was as ex- 
tensive as its jurisdiction. It granted town lots 
and recommended to the governor grants of 
land from the public domain. In addition to 
passing ordinances its members sometimes 
acted as executive officers to enforce them. It 
exercised the powers of a board of health, a 
board of education, a police commission and a 
street department. During the civil war be- 
tween Northern and Southern California, in 
1837-38, the ayuntamiento of Los Angeles 
raised and equipped an army and assumed the 
right to govern the southern half of the terri- 

The ayuntamiento was spoken of as Muy 
Ilustre (Most Illustrious), in the same sense 
that we speak of the honorable city council, but 
it was a much more dignified body than a city 
council. The members were required to attend 
their public functions "attired in black apparel. 
so as to add solemnity to the meetings." They 
served without pay, but if a member was absent 
frOm a meeting without a good excuse he was 
liable to a fine. As there was no pay in the office 
and its duties were numerous and onerous, there 
was not a large crop of aspirants for council- 
men in those days, and the office usually sought 
the man. It might be added that when it caught 
the right man it was loath to let go of him. 

The misfortunes that beset Francisco Pantoja 
aptly illustrate the difficulty of resigning in the 
days when office sought the man, not man the 
office. Pantoja was elected fourth regidor of 
the ayuntamiento of Los Angeles in 1837. In 
those days wild horses were very numerous. 
When the pasture in tin 1 foothills was exhausted 

they came down into the valleys and ate up 
the feed needed for the cattle. Un this account, 
and because most of these wild horses were 
worthless, the rancheros slaughtered them. A 
corral was built with wings extending out on 
the right and left from the main entrance. When 
the corral was completed a day was set for a 
wild horse drive. The bauds were rounded up 
and driven into the corral. The pick of the 
caballados were lassoed and taken out to be 
broken to the saddle and the refuse of the drive 
killed. The Vejars had obtained permission 
from the ayuntamiento to build a corral between 
the Ceritos and the Salinas for the purpose of 
corralling wild horses. Pantoja, being some- 
thing of a sport, petitioned his fellow regidores 
for a twenty days' leave of absence to join in 
the wild horse chase. A wild horse chase was 
wild sport and dangerous, too. Somebody was 
sure to get hurt, and Pantoja in this one was 
one of the unfortunates. When his twenty days' 
leave of absence was up he did not return to 
his duties of regidor. but instead sent his res- 
ignation on plea of illness. His resignation was 
not accepted and the president of the ayunta- 
miento appointed a committee to investigate 
his physical condition. There were no physi- 
cians in Los Angeles in those days, so the com- 
mittee took along Santiago McKinley, a canny 
Scotch merchant, who was repined to have some 
knowledge of surgery. The committee and the 
improvised surgeon held an ante-mortem in- 
quest on what remained of Pantoja. The com- 
mittee reported to the council that he was a 
physical wreck; that he could not mount a 
horse nor ride one when mounted. A native 
California!! who had reached such a state of 
physical dilapidation that he could not mount 
a horse might well be excused from official du- 
ties. To excuse him might establish a danger- 
ous precedent. The ayuntamiento heard the 
report, pondered over it and then sent it and 
the resignation to the governor. The governor 
took them under advisement. In the meantime 
a revolution broke out and before p 
stored and the governor had time to pass upon 
the case Pantoja's term had expired by limita- 

That modern fad dslation, the 



referendum, was in full force and effect in Cali- 
fornia three-quarters of a century ago. When 
some question of great importance to the com- 
munity was before the ayuntamiento and the 
regidores were divided in opinion, the alarma 
publica or public alarm was sounded by the 
beating of the long roll on the drum and all the 
citizens were summoned to the hall of sessions. 
Any one hearing the alarm and not heed- 
ing it was fined $3. When the citizens were con- 
vened the president of the ayuntamiento, speak- 
ing in a loud voice, stated the question and the 
people were given "public speech." The ques- 
tion was debated by all who wished to speak. 
When all had had their say it was decided by a 
show of hands. 

The ayuntamientos regulated the social func- 
tions of the pueblos as well as the civic. Ordi- 
nance 5, ayuntamiento proceedings of Los 
Angeles, reads: "All individuals serenading pro- 
miscuously around the street of the city at night 
without first having obtained permission from 
the alcalde will be fined $1.50 for the first of- 
fense, $3 for the second offense, and for the 
third punished according to law." Ordinance 4, 
adopted by the ayuntamiento of Los Angeles, 
January 28, 1838, reads: "Every person not 
having any apparent occupation in this city or 
its jurisdiction is hereby ordered to look for 
work within three days, counting from the day 
this ordinance is published; if not complied 
with, lie will be fined $2 for the first offense, $4 
for the second offense, and will be given com- 
pulsory work for the third." From the reading 
of the ordinance it would seem if the tramp 
kept looking for work, but was careful not to 
find it, there could be no offense and conse- 
quently no fines or compulsory work. 

Some of the enactments of the old regidores 
would fade the azure out of the blue laws of 
Connecticut in severity. In the plan of gov- 
ernment adopted by the surefios in the rebellion 
of 1837 appears this article: "Article 3, The 
Roman Catholic Apostolic religion shall pre- 
vail throughout this jurisdiction: and any per- 
son professing publicly any other religion shall 
be prosecuted." 

Here is a blue law of Monterey, enacted 
March 23, 1816: "All persons must attend mass 

and respond in a loud voice, and if any persons 
should fail to do so without good cause they 
will be put in the stocks for three hours." 

The architecture of the Spanish and Mexican 
eras of California was homely almost to ugliness. 
There was no external ornamentation to the 
dwellings and no internal conveniences. There 
was but little attempt at variety and the houses 
were mostly of one style, square walled, tile cov- 
ered, or flat roofed with pitch, and usually but 
one story high. Some of the mission churches 
were massive, grand and ornamental, while 
others were devoid of beauty and travesties on 
the rules of architecture. Every man was his 
own architect and master builder. He had no 
choice of material, or, rather, with his ease- 
loving disposition, he chose to use that which 
was most convenient, and that was adobe clay, 
made into sun-dried brick. The Indian was the 
brick maker, and he toiled for his taskmasters, 
like the Hebrew of old for the Egyptian, making 
bricks without straw and without pay. There 
were no labor strikes in the building trades then. 
The Indian was the builder, and he did not 
know how to strike for higher wages, because 
he received no wages, high or low. The adobe 
bricks were moulded into form and set up to 
dry. Through the long summer days they 
baked in the hot sun, first on one side, then on 
the other; and when dried through they were 
laid in the wall with mud mortar. Then the 
walls had to dry and dry perhaps through an- 
other summer before the house was habitable. 
Time was the essense of building contracts then. 

There was but little wood used in house con- 
struction then. It was only the aristocrats who 
could indulge in the luxury of wooden floors. 
Most of the houses had floors of the beaten 
earth. Such floors were cheap and durable. 
Gilroy says, when he came to Monterey in 1814, 
only the governor's house had a wooden floor. 
A door of rawhide shut out intruders and 
wooden-barred windows admitted sunshine and 

The legendry of the hearthstone and the fire- 
side which fills so large a place in the home life 
and literature of the Anglo-Saxon had no part 
in the domestic system of the old-time Califor- 
nian. He had no hearthstone and no fireside, 



nor could that pleasing fiction of Santa Claus 
coming down the chimney with toys on Christ- 
mas eve that so delights the children of to-day 
have been understood by the youthful Califor- 
nian of long ago. There were no chimneys in 
California. The only means of warming the 
houses by artificial heat was a pan (or braseroj 
of coals set on the floor. The people lived out 
of doors in the open air and invigorating sun- 
shine; and they were health)- and long-lived. 
Their houses were places to sleep in or shelters 
from rain. 

The furniture was meager and mostly home- 
made. A few benches or rawhide-bottomed 
chairs to sit on; a rough table; a chest or two 
to keep the family finery in ; a few cheap prints 
of saints on the walls — these formed the furnish- 
ings and the decorations of the living rooms of 
the common people. The bed was the pride and 
the ambition of the housewife. Even in humble 
dwellings, sometimes, a snowy counterpane and 
lace-trimmed pillows decorated a couch whose 
base was a dried bullock's hide stretched on a 
rough frame of wood. A shrine dedicated to the 
patron saint of the household was a very essen- 
tial part of a well-regulated home. 

Fashions in dress did not change with the sea- 
sons. A man could wear his grandfather's hat 
and his coat, too, and not be out of the fashion. 
Robinson, writing of California in 1829. says: 
"The people were still adhering to the costumes 
of the past century." It was not until after 1834, 
when the Hijar colonists brought the latest fash- 
ions from the City of Mexico, that the style of 
dress for men and women began to change. The 
next change took place after the American con- 
quest. Only two changes in half a century, a 
garment had to be very durable to become un- 

The few wealthy people in the territory 
dressed well, even extravagantly. Robinson de- 
scribes the dress of Tomas Yorba, a wealthy 
ranchero of the Upper Santa Ana, as he saw 
him in 1829: "Upon his head he wore a black 
silk handkerchief, the four corners of which 
hung down his neck behind. An embroidered 
shirt; a cravat of white jaconet, tastefully tied; 
a blue damask vest; short clothes of crimson 
velvet; a bright green cloth jacket, with large 

silver buttons, and shoes of embroidered deer- 
skin composed Ins dress. I was afterwards in- 
formed by Don Manuel (Dominguez) that on 
some occasions, such as some particular feast 
day or festival, his entire display often exceeded 
in value a thousand dollars." 

"The dress worn by the middle class of fe- 
males is a chemise, with short embroidered 
sleeves, richly trimmed with lace; a muslin pet- 
ticoat, flounced with scarlet and secured at the 
waist by a silk band of the same color; shoes of 
velvet or blue satin; a cotton reboso or scarf; 
pearl necklace and earrings; with hair falling in 
broad plaits down the back."* After 1834 the 
men generally adopted calzoneras instead of the 
knee breeches or short clothes of the last cen- 

"The calzoneras were pantaloons with the ex- 
terior seam open throughout its length. On the 
upper edge was. a strip of cloth, red, blue or 
black, in which were buttonholes. On the other 
edge were eyelet holes for buttons. In some 
cases the calzonera was sewn from hip to the 
middle of the thigh ; in others, buttoned. From 
the middle of the thigh downward the leg was 
covered by the bota or leggins, used by every 
one, whatever his dress." The short jacket, 
with silver or bronze buttons, and the silken 
sash that served as a connecting link between 
the calzoneras and the jacket, and also supplied 
the place of what the Californians did not wear, 
suspenders, this constituted a picturesque cos- 
tume, that continued in vogue until the con- 
quest, and with many' of the natives for years 
after. "After 1834 the fashionable women of Cal- 
ifornia exchanged their narrow for more flowing 
garments and abandoned the braided hair for 
the coil and the large combs till then in use for 
smaller combs. "f 

For outer wraps the serapa for men and the 
rebosa for women were universally worn. The 
texture of these marked the social standing of 
the wearer. It ranged from cheap cotton and 
coarse serge to the costliest silk and the finest 
French broadcloth. The costume of the neo- 
phyte changed but once in centuries, and that 

*Robinson. Life in California. 

tBancroftV 1'a-t-ral California. 



was when he divested himself of his coat of 
mud and smear of paint and put on the mission 
shirt and breech clout. Shoes he did not wear 
and in time his feet became as hard as the hoofs 
of an animal. The dress of the mission women 
consisted of a chemise and a skirt; the dress of 
the children was a shirt and sometimes even this 
was dispensed. 

Filial obedience and respect for parental au- 
thority were early impressed upon the minds of 
the children. The commandment, "Honor thy 
father and mother," was observed with an ori- 
ental devotion. A child was never too old or too 
large to be exempt from punishment. Stephen 
C. Foster used to relate an amusing story of a 
case ot parental dis :iplining he once saw at Los 
Angeles. An old lady, a grandmother, was be- 
laboring-, with a barrel stave, her son, a man 
thirty years of age. The son had done some- 
thing of which the mother did not approve. She 
sent for him to come over to the maternal home 
to receive his punishment, lie came. She took 
him out to the metaphorical woodshed, which, 
in this case, was the portico of her house, where 
she stood him up and proceeded to administer 
corporal punishment. With the resounding 
thwacks of the stave, she would exclaim, "I'll 
leach you to behave yourself." "I'll mend your 
manners, sir." "Now you'll be good, won't 
you?" The big man took his punishment with- 
out a thought of resisting or rebelling. In fact, 
he seemed to enjoy it. It brought back feel- 
ingly and forcibly a memory of his boyhood 

In the earlier years of the republic, before 
revolutionarj ideas had perverted the usages of 
the Californians, great respect was shown to 
those in authority, and the authorities were 
strict in requiring deference from their constit- 
uents. In the Los Angeles archives of 1828 are 
the records of an impeachment trial of Don 
Antonio Maria Lugo, held to depose him from 
tin office ^f judge of the plains. The principal 
dut") of such a judge was to decide cases of dis- 
puted ownership of horses and cattle. Lugo 
seems to have had an exalted idea of the dignity 
of his office. Among the complaints presented 
at the trial was one from young Pedro Sanchez. 
in which he testified that Lugo had tried 1" ride 

Ins horse over him in the street because he, 
Sanchez, would not take off his hat to the juez 
del campo and remain standing uncovered while 
the judge rode past. Another complainant at the 
same trial related how* at a rodeo Lugo ad- 
judged a neighbor's boy guilty of contempt of 
court because the boy gave him an impertinent 
answer, and then he proceeded to give the boy 
an unmerciful whipping. So heinous was the 
offense in the estimation of the judge that the 
complainant said, "had not Lugo fallen over a 
chair he would have been beating the boy yet." 

Under Mexican domination in California 
there was no tax levied on land and improve- 
ments. The municipal funds of the pueblos were 
obtained from revenue on wine and brandy; 
from the licenses of saloons and other business 
houses; from the tariff on imports; from per- 
mits to give balls or dances; from the fines of 
transgressors, and from the tax on bull rings 
and cock pits. Then men's pleasures and vices 
paid the cost of governing. In the early '40s 
the city of Los Angeles claimed a population of 
two thousand, yet the municipal revenues rarely 
exceeded $1,000 a year. With this small amount 
the authorities ran a city government and kept 
out 1 if debt. It did not cost much to run a city 
government then. There was no army of high- 
salaried officials with a horde of political heelers 
quartered on the municipality and fed from the 
public crib at the expense of the taxpayer. Poli- 
ticians may have been no more honest then 
than now, but where there was nothing to steal 
there was no stealing. The alcaldes and regi- 
dores put no temptation in the way of the poli- 
ticians, and thus they kept them reasonably 
honest, or at least they kept them from plunder- 
ing the taxpayers by the simple expedient of 
having no taxpayers. 

The functions of the various departments of 
the municipal governments were economically 
administered. Street cleaning and lighting were 
performed at individual expense instead of pub- 
lic. There was an ordinance in force in Los 
Angeles and Santa Barbara and probably in 
other municipalities that required each owner of 
a house every Saturday to sweep and clean in 
front of his premises to the middle of the street. 
His neighbor on the opposite side met him half 



way, and the street was swept without expense 
to the pueblo. There was another ordinance 
that required eacli owner of a house of more 
that two rooms on a main street to hang a 
lighted lantern in front of his door from twilight 
to eight o'clock in winter and to nine in sum- 
mer. There were fines for neglect of these duties. 
There was no fire department in the pueblos. 
The adobe houses with their clay walls, earthen 
floors, tiled roofs and rawhide doors were as 
nearly fireproof as any human habitation could 
be made. The cooking was done in detached 

kitchens and in beehive-shaped ovens without 
Hues. The houses were without chimneys, so 
the danger from fire was reduced to a minimum. 
A general conflagration was something un- 
known in the old pueblo days of California 

There was no paid police department. Every 
able-bodied young man was subject to military 
duty. A volunteer guard or patrol was kept on 
duty at the cuartels or guard houses. The 
guards policed the pueblos, but they were not 
paid. Each young man had to take his turn at 
guard duty. 



THE Mexican war marked the beginning 
by the United States of territorial ex- 
pansion by conquest. "It was," says 
General Grant, "an instance of a republic fol- 
lowing the bad example of European mon- 
archies in not considering justice in their desire 
to acquire additional territory." The "additional 
territory" was needed for the creation of slave 
states. The southern politicians of the extreme 
pro-slavery school saw in the rapid settlement 
of the northwestern states the downfall of their 
domination and the doom of their beloved insti- 
tution, slavery. Their peculiar institution could 
not expand northward and on the south it had 
reached the Mexican boundary. The only way 
of acquiring new territory for the extension of 
slavery on the south was to take it by force from 
the weak Republic of Mexico. The annexation 
of Texas brought with it a disputed boundary 
line. The claim to a strip of country between 
the Rio Nueces and the Rio Grande furnished a 
convenient pretext to force Mexico to hostili- 
ties. Texas as an independent state had never 
exercised jurisdiction over the disputed terri- 
torv. As a state of the L T nion after annexation 
she could not rightfully lay claim to what she 
never possessed, but the army of occupation 
took possession of it as United States property, 
and the war was on. In the end we acquired a 
large slice of Mexican territory, but the irony 

of fate decreed that not an acre of its soil should 
be tilled by slave labor. 

The causes that led to the acquisition of Cali- 
fornia antedated the annexation of Texas and 
the invasion of Mexico. After the adoption of 
liberal colonization laws by the Mexican gov- 
ernment in 1824, there set in a steady drift 
of Americans to California. At first they came 
by sea, but after the opening of the overland 
route in 1841 they came in great numbers by 
land. It was a settled conviction in the minds 
of these adventurous nomads that the manifest 
destiny of California was to become a part of the 
United States, and they were only too willing to 
aid destiny when an opportunitv offered. The 
opportunity came and it found them ready for it. 

Capt. John C. Fremont, an engineer and ex- 
plorer in the services of the United States, ap- 
peared at Monterey in January, 1846, and ap- 
plied to General Castro, the military comandante, 
for permission to buy supplies for his party of 
sixty-two men who were encamped in the San 
Joaquin valley, in what is now Kern county. 
Permission was given him. There seems to 
have been a tacit agreement between Castro and 
Fremont that the exploring pan- should not 
enter the settlements, but early in March the 
wlnle force was encamped in the Salinas val- 
lei Castro regarded the marching of a body 
hi armed men through the country as an act of 



hostility, and ordered them out of the country. 
Instead of leaving, Fremont intrenched himself 
on an eminence known as Gabilian Peak (about 
thirty miles from Monterey), raised the stars 
and stripes over his barricade, and defied Castro. 
Castro maneuvered his troops on the plain 
below, but did not attack Fremont. After two 
days' waiting Fremont abandoned his position 
ana began his march northward. On Maj 9, 
when near the Oregon line, he was overtaken 
by Lieutenant Gillespie, of the United States 
navy, with a dispatch from the president. Gil- 
lespie had left the United States in November, 
1845, and, disguised, had crossed Mexico from 
Vera Cruz to Mazatlan, and from there had 
reached Monterey. The exact nature of the 
dispatches to Fremont is not known, but pre- 
sumably they related to the impending war be- 
tween Mexico and the United States, and the 
necessity for a prompt seizure of the country 
to prevent it from falling into the hands of Eng- 
land. Fremont returned to the Sacramento, 
where he encamped. 

On the 14th of June, 1846, a body of Amer- 
ican settlers from the Xapa and Sacramento 
valleys, thirty-three in number, of which Ide, 
Semple, Grigsby and Merritt seem to have been 
the leaders, after a night's march, took posses- 
sion of the old castillo or fort at Sonoma, with 
its rusty muskets and unused cannon, and made 
Gen. M. G. Yallejo, Lieut.-Col. Prudon, Capt. 
Salvador Yallejo and Jacob P. Leese, a brother- 
in-law of the Yallejos, prisoners. There seems 
to have been no privates at the castillo, all offi- 
cers. Exactly what was the object of the Amer- 
ican settlers in taking General Yallejo prisoner 
is not evident. General Yallejo was one of the 
few eminent Californians who favored the an- 
nexation of California to the United Stales. He 
is said to have made a speech favoring such a 
movement in the junta at Monterey a few 
months before. Castro regarded him with sus- 
picion. The prisoners were sent under an 
armed escort to Fremont's camp. William 1'.. 
Ide was elected captain of the revolutionists 
who remained at Sonoma, to "hold the fort." 
ued a pronunciamiento in which he de- 
California a free and independent gov- 
ernment, under the name of the California Re- 

public. A nation must have a flag of its own, 
so one was improvised. It was made of a piece 
of cotton cloth, or manta, a yard wide and five 
feet long. Strips of red flannel torn from the 
shirt of one of the men were stitched on the 
bottom of the flag for stripes. With a blacking 
brush, or, as another authority says, the end 
of a chewed stick for a brush, and red paint, 
William L. Todd painted the figure of a grizzly 
bear passant on the field of the flag. The na- 
tives called Todd's bear "cochino," a pig; it 
resembled that animal more than a bear. A 
five-pointed star in the left upper corner, 
painted with the same coloring matter, and the 
words "California republic" printed on it in ink, 
completed the famous bear flag. 

The California republic was ushered into ex- 
istence June 14, 1846, attained the acme of its 
power July 4, when Ide and his fellow patriots 
burnt a quantity of powder in salutes, and fired 
off oratorical pyrotechnics in honor of the new 
republic. It utterly collapsed on the 9th of July, 
after an existence of twenty-five days, when 
news reached Sonoma that Commodore Sloat 
had raised the stars and stripes at Monterey and 
taken possession of California in the name of 
the United States. Lieutenant Revere arrived 
at Sonoma on the 9th and he it was who low- 
ered the bear flag from the Mexican flagstaff, 
where it had floated through the brief existence 
of the California republic, and raised in its place 
the banner of the United States. 

Commodore Sloat, who had anchored in 
Monterey Bay July 2, 1846, was for a time un- 
decided whether to take possession of the coun- 
try. He had no official information that war 
had been declared between the United States 
and Mexico; but, acting on the supposition 
that Captain Fremont had received definite in- 
structions, on the 7th of July he raised the flag 
and took possession of the custom-house and 
government buildings at Monterey. Captain 
Montgomery, on the oth, raised it at San Fran- 
cisco, and on the same day the bear flag gave 
place to the stars and stripes at Sonoma. 

General Castro was holding Santa Clara and 
San Jose when he received Commodore Sloat's 
proclamation informing him that the commo- 
dore had taken possession of Monterey. Cas- 



tro, after reading the proclamation, which was 
written in Spanish, formed his men in line, and 
addressing them, said: "Monterey is taken by 
the Americans. What can I do with a handful 
of men against the United States? 1 am going 
to Mexico. All of you who wish to follow me, 
'About face!' All that wish to remain can go to 
their homes."* A very small part of his force 
followed him. 

Commodore Sloat was superseded by Com- 
modore Stockton, who set about organizing an 
expedition to subjugate the part of the territory 
which still remained loyal to Mexico. Fre- 
mont's exploring party, recruited to a battalion 
of one hundred and twenty men, had marched 
to Monterey, and from there was sent by vessel 
to San Diego to procure horses and prepare to 
act as cavalry. 

While these stirring events were transpiring 
in the north, what was the condition in the 
south where the capital, Los Angeles, and the 
bulk of the population of the territory were 
located? Pio Pico had entered upon the duties 
of the governorship with a desire to bring peace 
and harmony to the distracted country. He ap- 
pointed Juan Bandini, one of the ablest states- 
men of the south, his secretary. After Bandini 
resigned he chose J. M. Covarrubias, and later 
Jose M. Moreno filled the ofifice. 

The principal offices of the territory had been 
divided equally between the politicians of the 
north and the south. While Los Angeles be- 
came the capital, and the departmental assembly 
met there, the military headquarters, the ar- 
chives and the treasury remained at Monterey. 
But, notwithstanding this division of the spoils 
of office, the old feud between the arribenos 
and the abajenos would not down, and soon the 
old-time quarrel was on with all its bitterness. 
Castro, as military comandante, ignored the 
governor, and Alvarado was regarded by the 
surenos as an emissary of Castro's. The de- 
partmental assembly met at Los Angeles, in 
March, 1846. Pico presided, and in his opening 
message set forth the unfortunate condition of 
affairs in the department. Education was neg- 
lected; justice was not administered; the mis- 
ball's History of San Jose. 

sions were so burdened by debt that but few 
of them could be rented; the army was disor- 
ganized and the treasury empty. 

Not even the danger of war with the Amer- 
icans could make the warring factions forget 
their fratricidal strife. Castro's proclamation 
against Fremont was construed by the surenos 
into a scheme to inveigle the governor to the 
north so that the comandante-general could de- 
pose him and seize the office for himself. Cas- 
tro's preparations to resist by force the en- 
croachments of the Americans were believed 
by Pico and the Angelenians to be fitting out 
of an army to attack Los Angeles and over- 
throw the government. 

On the 1 6th of June, Pico left Los Angeles 
for Monterey with a military force of a hundred 
men. The object of the expedition was to op- 
pose, and, if possible, to depose Castro. He 
left the capital under the care of the ayunta- 
miento. On the 20th of June Alcalde Gallardo 
reported to the ayuntamiento that he had posi- 
tive information "that Don Castro had left 
Monterey and would arrive here in three days 
with a military force for the purpose of captur- 
ing this city." (Castro had left Monterey with 
a force of seventy men, but he had gone north 
to San Jose.) The sub-prefect, Don Abel 
Stearns, was authorized to enlist troops to pre- 
serve order. On the 23d of June three compa- 
nies were organized, an artillery company under 
Miguel Tryor, a company of riflemen under 
Benito Wilson, and a cavalry company under 
Gorge Palomares. Pico called for reinforce- 
ments, but just as he was preparing to inarch 
against Monterey the news reached him ot the 
capture of Sonoma by the Americans, and next 
day, June 24th, the news reached Los Angeles 
just as the council had decided on a plan of 
defense against Castro, who was five hundred 
miles away. Pico, on the impulse of the mo- 
ment, issued a proclamation, in which he 
arraigned the United States for perfidy and 
treachery, and the gang of "North American 
adventurers," who captured Sonoma "with the 
blackest treason the spirit of evil can invent." 
His arraignment of the "North American na- 
tion" was so severe that some nf his American 
friends in Los Angeles took umbrage to hi- 



pronunciamento. He afterwards tried to recall 
it, but it was too late; it had been published. 

Castro, rinding the "foreign adventurers" too 
numerous and too aggressive in the northern 
part of the territory, determined, with what men 
he could induce to go with him, to retreat to 
the south; but before so doing he sent a medi- 
ator to Pico to negotiate a treaty of peace and 
amity between the factions. On the 12th of 
July the two armies met at Santa Margarita, 
near San Luis Obispo. Castro brought the 
news that Commodore Sloat had hoisted the 
United States flag at Monterey and taken pos- 
session of the country for his government. The 
meeting of the governor and the comandante- 
general was not very cordial, but in the presence 
of the impending danger to the territory they 
concealed their mutual dislike and decided to 
do their best to defend the country they both 

Sorrowfully they began their retreat to the 
capital; but even threatened disaster to their 
common country could not wholly unite the 
north and the south. The respective armies, 
Castro's numbering about one hundred and fifty 
men, and Pico*s one hundred and twenty, kept 
about a day's march apart. They reached Los 
Angeles, and preparations were begun to resist 
the invasion of the Americans. Pico issued a 
proclamation ordering all able-bodied men be- 
tween fifteen and sixty years of age, native and 
naturalized, to take up arms to defend the coun- 
try; any able-bodied Mexican refusing was to 
be treated as a traitor. There was no enthusi- 
asm for the cause. The old factional jealousy 
and distrust was as potent as ever. The militia 
of the south would obey none but their own 
officers; Castro's troops, who considered them- 
selves regulars, ridiculed the raw recruits of 
the surenos, while the naturalized foreigners of 
American extraction secretly sympathized with 
their own people. 

Pico, t<> counteract the malign influence of his 
Santa Barbara proclamation and enlist the sym- 
pathy and more ready adhesion of the foreign 
element of Los Angeles, issued the following 
circular: (This circular or proclamation has 
never before found its way into print. T find 
no allusion to it in Bancroft's or HittcH's His- 

tories. A copy, probably the only one in exist- 
ence, was donated some years since to the 
Historical Society of Southern California.) 

Gobiemo del Dcp. 
dc Califoniias. 

"Circular. — As owing to the unfortunate 
condition of things that now prevails in this 
department in consequence of the war into 
which the United States has provoked the Mex- 
ican nation, some ill feeling might spring up 
between the citizens of the two countries, out of 
which unfortunate occurrences might grow, and 
as this government desires to remove every 
cause of friction, it has seen fit, in the use of its 
power, to issue the present circular. 

"The Government of the department of Cali- 
fornia declares in the most solemn manner that 
all the citizens of the United States that have 
come lawfully into its territory, relying upon 
the honest administration of the laws and the 
observance of the prevailing treaties, shall not 
be molested in the least, and their lives and 
property shall remain in perfect safety under the 
protection of the Mexican laws and authorities 
legally constituted. 

"Therefore, in the name of the supreme gov- 
ernment of the nation, and by virtue of the 
authority vested upon me, I enjoin upon all the 
inhabitants of California to observe towards the 
citizens of the United States that have lawfully 
come among us, the kindest and most cordial 
conduct, and to abstain from all acts of violence 
against their persons or property ; provided they 
remain neutral, as heretofore, and take no part 
in the invasion effected by the armies of their 

"The authorities of the various municipalities 
and corporations will be held strictly responsi- 
ble for the faithful fulfillment of this order, and 
shall, as soon as possible, take the necessary 
measures to bring it to the knowledge of the 
people. < iod and Liberty. 

"Pio Pico. 

"Jose Matias Mareno, Secretary pro tan." 

Angeles, July 27, 1846. 



When we consider the conditions existing in 
California at the time this circular was issued, 
its sentiments reflect great credit on Pico for 
his humanity and forbearance. A little over a 
month before, a party of Americans seized 
General Vallejo and several other prominent 
Californians in their homes and incarcerated 
them in prison at Sutter's Fort. Nor was this 
outrage mitigated when the stars and stripes 
were raised. The perpetrators of the outrage 
were not punished. These native Californians 
were kept in prison nearly two months without 
any charge against them. Besides, Governor 
Pico and the leading Californians very well 
knew that the Americans whose lives and prop- 
erty this proclamation was designed to protect 
would not remain neutral when their country- 
men invaded the territory. Pio Pico deserved 
better treatment from the Americans than he 
received. He was robbed of his landed posses- 
sions by unscrupulous land sharks, and his char- 
acter defamed by irresponsible historical scrib- 

Pico made strenuous efforts to raise men and 
means to resist the threatened invasion. He had 
mortgaged the government house to de Cclis 
for $2,000, the mortgage to be paid "as soon as 
order shall be established in the department." 
This loan was really negotiated to fit out the 
expedition against Castro, but a part of it was 
expended after his return to Los Angeles in 
procuring supplies while preparing to meet the 
American army. The government had but little 
credit. The moneyed men of the pueblo were 
averse to putting money into what was almost 
sure to prove a lost cause. The bickerings and 
jealousies between the factions neutralized to a 
considerable degree the efforts of Pico and Cas- 
tro to mobilize the army. 

Castro established his camp on the mesa east 
of the river. Here he and Andres Pico under- 
took to drill the somewhat incongruous collec- 
tion of hombres in military maneuvering. Their 
entire force at no time exceeded three hundred 
men. These were poorly armed and lacking in 

We left Stockton at Monterey preparing an 
expedition against Castro at Los Angeles. On 
taking command of the Pacific squadron. July 

29, he issued a proclamation. It was as bom- 
bastic as the pronunciamiento of a Mexican 
governor. Bancroft says: "The paper was 
made up of falsehood, of irrelevant issues and 
bombastic ranting in about equal parts, the 
tone being offensive and impolitic even in those 
inconsiderable portions which were true and 
legitimate." His only object in taking posses- 
sion of the country was "to save from destruc- 
tion the lives and property of the foreign resi- 
dents and citizens of the territory who had in- 
voked his protection." In view : of Pico's humane 
circular and the uniform kind treatment that the 
Californians accorded the American residents, 
there was very little need of Stockton's interfer- 
ence on that score. Commodore Sloat did not 
approve of Stockton's proclamation or of his 

On the 6th of August, Stockton reached San 
Pedro and landed three hundred ami sixty 
sailors and marines. These were drilled in mili- 
tary movements on land and prepared for the 
march to Los Angeles. 

Castro sent two commissioners, Pablo de La 
Guerra and Jose M. Flores, to Stockton, asking 
for a conference and a cessation of hostilities 
while negotiations were pending. They asked 
that the United States forces remain at San 
Pedro while the terms of the treaty were under 
discussion. These requests Commodore Stock- 
ton peremptorily refused, and the commissioners 
returned to Los Angeles without stating the 
terms on which they proposed to treat. 

In several so-called histories, 1 find a very 
dramatic account of this interview. On the ar- 
rival of the commissioners they were marched 
up to the mouth of an immense mortar, 
shrouded in skins save its huge aperture. Their 
terror and discomfiture were plainly discernible. 
Stockton received them with a stern and forbid- 
ding countenance, harshly demanding their mis- 
sion, which the) disclosed in great confusion. 
They bore a letter from I sing a 

truce, each party t" hold its own possi ■ 
until a general pacification should be had. This 
proposal Stockton rejected with contempt, and 
dismissed the commissioners with the assurance 
that only an immediate disbandmenl of his 
forces and an unconditional surrender would 


shield Castro from the vengeance of an incensed 
foe. The messengers remounted their horses 
in dismay and fled back to Castro." The mortar 
story, it is needless to say, is pure fabrication, 
yet it runs through a number of so-called his- 
tories of California. Castro, on the yth of Au- 
gust, held a council of war with his officers at 
the Campo en La Mesa. He announced his in- 
tention of leaving the country for the purpose of 
reporting to the supreme government, and of 
returning at some future day to punish the 
usurpers. He wrote to Pico: "I can count only 
one hundred men, badly armed, worse supplied 
and discontented by reason of the miseries they 
suffer; so that 1 have reason to fear that not 
even these men will fight when the necessity 
arises." And this is the force that some imag- 
inative historians estimate at eight hundred to 
one thousand men. 

Pico and Castro left Los Angeles on the 
night of August 10, for Mexico; Castro going 
by the Colorado River route to Sonora, and 
Pico, after being concealed for a time by his 
brother-in-law, Juan Foster, at the Santa Mar- 
garita and narrowly escaping capture by Fre- 
mont's men, finally reached Lower California 
and later on crossed the Gulf to Sonora. 

Stockton began his march on Los Angeles 
August ii. He took with him a battery of four 
guns. The guns were mounted on carretas, and 
each gun drawn by four oxen. He had with 
him a good brass band. 

Major Fremont, who had been sent to San 
Diego with his battalion of one hundred and 
seventy men, had, after considerable skirmish- 
ing among the ranchos, secured enough horses 
to move, and on the 8th of August had begun 
his march to join Stockton. He took with him 
one hundred and twenty men, leaving about 
fifty to garrison San Diego. 

Stockton consumed three days on the march. 
Fremont's troops joined him just south of the 
city, and at 4 p. m. of the 13th the combined 
force, numbering nearly five hundred men, en- 
tered the town without opposition, "our entry," 
says Major Fremont, "having more the effect 
of a parade of home guards than of an enemy 
taking possession of a conquered town." Stock- 
ton reported finding at Castro's abandoned camp 

ten pieces of artillery, four of them spiked. Fre- 
mont says he (Castro) "had buried part of his 
guns." Castro's troops that he had brought 
down with him took their departure for their 
northern homes soon after their general left, 
breaking up into small squads as they advanced. 
The southern troops that Pico had recruited dis- 
persed to their homes before the arrival of the 
Americans. Squads of Fremont's battalion were 
sent out to scour the country and bring in any of 
the Californian officers or leading men whom 
they could find. These, when found, were 

Another of those historical myths, like the 
mortar story previously mentioned, which is 
palmed off on credulous readers as genuine his- 
tory, runs as follows: "Stockton, while en route 
from San Pedro to Los Angeles, was informed 
by a courier from Castro 'that if he marched 
upon the town he would find it the grave of him- 
self and men.' 'Then,' answered the commodore, 
'tell the general to have the bells ready to toll 
at eight o'clock, as I shall be there by that 
time.' " As Castro left Los Angeles the day 
before Stockton began his march from San 
Pedro, and when the commodore entered the 
city the Mexican general was probably two 
hundred miles away, the bell tolling myth goes 
to join its kindred myths in the category of his- 
tory as it should not be written. 

On the 17th of August, Stockton issued a sec- 
ond proclamation, in which he signs himself 
commander-in-chief and governor of the terri- 
tory of California. It was milder in tone and 
more dignified than the first. He informed the 
people that their country now belonged to the 
United States. For the present it would be 
governed by martial law. They were invited 
to elect their local officers if those now in office 
refused to serve. 

Four days after the capture of Los Angeles, 
The Warren, Captain Hull, commander, an- 
chored at San Pedro. She brought official no- 
tice of the declaration of war between the 
United States and Mexico. Then for the first 
time Stockton learned that there had been an 
official declaration of war between the two 
countries. United States officers had waged 
war and had taken possession of California upon 


the strength of a rumor that hostilities existed 
between the countries. 

The conquest, if conquest it can be called, was 
accomplished without the loss of a life, if we 
except the two Americans, Fowler and Cowie, 
of the Bear Flag party, who were brutally mur- 
dered by a band of Californians under Padillo, 
and the equally brutal shooting of Beryessa and 
the two de Haro boys by the Americans at San 
Rafael. These three men were shot as spies, 
but there was no proof that they were such, and 
they were not tried. These murders occurred 
before Commodore Sloat raised the stars and 
stripes at Monterey. 

On the 15th of August, 1846, just thirty-seven 
days after the raising of the stars and stripes 
at Monterey, the first newspaper ever published 
in California made its appearance. It was pub- 
lished at Monterey by Semple and Colton and 
named The Californian. Rev. Walter Colton 
was a chaplain in the United States navy ami 
came to California on the Congress with Com- 
modore Stockton. He was made alcalde of 
Monterey and built, bv the labor of the chain 

gang and from contributions and fines, the 
first schoolhouse in California, named foi him 
Colton Hall. Colton thus describes the other 
member of the firm, Dr. Robert Semple: "My 
partner is an emigrant from Kentucky, who 
stands six feet eight in his stockings. He is in 
a buckskin dress, a foxskin cap; is true with his 
rifle, ready with his pen and quick at the type 
case." Semple came to California in 1845, with 
the Hastings party, and was one of the leaders 
in the Bear Flag revolution. The type and 
press used were brought to California by Au- 
gustin V. Zamorano in 1834, and by him sold 
to the territorial government, and had been 
used for printing bandos and pronunciamentos. 
The only paper the publishers of The Californian 
could procure was that used in the manufacture 
of cigarettes, which came in sheets a little 
larger than foolscap. The font of type was 
short of w's, so two v's were substituted for 
that letter, and when these ran out two u's were 
used. The paper was moved to San Francisco 
in 1848 and later on consolidated with the Cali- 
fornia Star. 



HOSTILITIES had ceased in all parts of 
the territory. The leaders of the Cali- 
fornians had escaped to Mexico, and 
Stockton, regarding the conquest as completed, 
set about organizing a government for the con- 
quered territory. Fremont was to be appointed 
military governor. Detachments from his bat- 
talion were to be detailed to garrison different 
towns, while Stockton, with what recruits he 
could gather in California, and his sailors and 
marines, was to undertake a naval expedition 
against the west coast of Mexico, land his f< irees 
at Mazatlan or Acapulco and march overland 
to "shake hands with General Taylor at the 
gates of Mexico." Captain Gillespie was made 
military commandant of the southern depart- 
ment, with headquarters at Los Angeles, and as 
signed a garrison of fifty men. Commodore 
Stockton left Los Angeles for the north Sep- 

tember 2. Fremont, with the remainder of his 
battalion, took up his line of march for Monte- 
rey a few days later. Gillespie's orders were I 1 
place the city under martial law, but not to en- 
force the more burdensome restrictions upon 
quiet and weli-disposed citizens. A conciliator) 
policy in accordance with instructions of the 
secretary of the navy was to be adopted and the 
people were to be encouraged to "neutrality, 
self-government and friendship." 

Nearly all historians who have written upon 
this subject lav the blame for the subsequent 
uprising of the Californians and their revolt 
against the rule of the military commandant, 
Gillespie, to his petty tyrannies. Col. J. J. 
Warner, in his Historical Sketch of Los An- 
geles County, says: "Gillespie attempted by a 
coercive system to effeci a moral and social 
change in the habits, diversions and pastimes of 



the people and to reduce them to his standard 
of propriety." Warner was not an impartial 
judge. He had a grievance against Gillespie 
which embittered him against the captain. Gil- 
lespie may have been lacking in tact, and his 
schooling in the navy under the tyrannical 
regime of the quarterdeck of fifty years ago 
was not the best training to fit him for govern- 
ment, but it is hardly probable that in two 
weeks' time he undertook to enforce a "coercive 
system" looking toward an entire change in the 
moral and social habits of the people. Los An- 
geles under Mexican domination was a hotbed 
of revolutions. It had a turbulent and restless 
element among its inhabitants that was never 
happier than when fomenting strife and c< in- 
spiring to overthrow those in power. Of this 
class Colton, writing in 1846, says: "They drift 
-about like Arabs. If the tide of fortune turns 
against them they disband and scatter to the 
four winds. They never become martyrs to any 
cause. They are too numerous to be brought 
to punishment by any of their governors, and 
thus escape justice." There was a conservative 
class in the territory, made up principally of 
the large landed proprietors, both native and 
foreign-born, but these exerted small influence 
in controlling the turbulent. While Los An- 
geles had a monopoly of this turbulent and rev- 
olutionary element, other settlements in the 
territory furnished their full quota of that class 
of political knight errants whose chief pastime 
was revolution, and whose capital consisted of 
a gaily caparisoned steed, a riata, a lance, a 
dagger and possibly a pair of horse pistols. 
These were the fellows whose "habits, diver- 
sinus and pastimes" Gillespie undertook to re- 
duce "to his standard of propriety." 

That Commodore Stockton should have left 
Gillespie so small a garrison to hold the city 
and surrounding country in subjection sliows 
that either he was ignoranl of the character of 
the people, or that he placed too great reliance 
in the completeness of their subjection. With 
Castro's men in the city or dispersed among the 
neighboring ranchos, many of them still retain- 
ing their arms, and all of them ready to rally 
at a moment's notice to the call of their leaders; 
with no reinforcements nearer than five hundred 

miles to come to the aid of Gillespie in case of 
an uprising, it was foolhardiness in Stockton to 
entrust the holding of the most important place 
in California to a mere handful of men, half 
disciplined and poorly equipped, without forti- 
fications for defense or supplies to hold out in 
case of a siege. 

Scarcelv had Stockton and Fremont, with 
their men, left the city before trouble began. 
The turbulent element of the city fomented 
strife and seized every occasion to annoy and 
harass the military commandant and his men. 
While his "petty tyrannies," so called, which 
were probably nothing more than the enforce- 
ment of martial law, may have been somewhat 
provocative, the real cause was more deep 
seated. The Californians, without provocation 
on their part and without really knowing the 
cause why, found their country invaded, their 
property taken from them and their government 
in the hands of an alien race, foreign to them 
in customs and religion. They would have been 
a tame and spiritless people indeed, had they 
neglected the opportunity that Stockton's blun- 
dering gave them to regain their liberties. They 
did not waste much time. Within two weeks 
from the time Stockton sailed from San Pedro 
hostilities had begun and the city was in a state 
of siege. 

Gillespie, writing in the Sacramento States- 
man in 1858, thus describes the first attack: 
"On the 22d of September, at three o'clock in 
the morning, a party of sixty-five Californians 
and Sonorenos made an attack upon my small 
command quartered in the government house. 
We were not wholly surprised, and with twenty- 
one rifles we beat them back without loss to our- 
selves, killing and wounding three of their num- 
ber. When daylight came. Lieutenant Hensley, 
with a few men, took several prisoners and 
drove the Californians from the town. This 
party was merely the nucleus of a revolution 
commenced ami known to Colonel Fremont be- 
fore he left Los Angeles. In twenty-four hours, 
six hundred well-mounted horsemen, armed 
with escopetas (shotguns), lances and one fine 
brass piece of light artillery, surrounded Los 
Angeles ami summoned me to surrender. There 
were three old honey-combed iron guns (spiked) 



in the corral of my quarters, which we at once 
cleared and mounted upon the axles of carts." 

Serbulo Yarela, a young man of some ability, 
but of a turbulent and reckless character, had 
been the leader at first, but as the uprising as- 
sumed the character of a revolution, Castro's old 
officers came to the front. Capt. Jose Maria 
Flores was chosen comandante-general; Jose 
Antonio Carrillo, major-general; and Andres 
Pico, comandante de escuadron. The main 
camp of the insurgents was located on the mesa, 
east of the river, at a place called Paredon 
Blanco (White Bluff). 

On the 24th of September, from the camp 
at White Bluff, was issued the famous Pronun- 
ciamiento de Barelas y otros Californias contra 
Los Americanos (The Proclamation of Barelas 
and other Californians against the Americans). 
Il was signed by Serbulo Varela (spelled Bare- 
las), Leonardo Cota and over three hundred 
others. Although this proclamation is gener- 
ally credited to Flores, there is no evidence to 
show that he had anything to do with framing 
it. He promulgated it over his signature Octo- 
ber 1. It is probable that it was written by 
Varela and Cota. It has been the custom of 
American writers to sneer at this production as 
florid and bombastic. In fiery invective and 
fierce denunciation it is the equal of Patrick 
Henry's famous "Give me liberty or give me 
death!" Its recital of wrongs is brief, but to 
the point. "And shall we be capable of permit- 
ting ourselves to be subjugated and to accept in 
silence the heavy chains of slavery? Shall we 
lose the soil inherited from our fathers, which 
cost them so much blood? Shall we leave our 
families victims of the most barbarous servi- 
tude? Shall we wait to see our wives outraged, 
our innocent children beaten by American 
whips, our property sacked, our temples pro- 
faned, to drag out a life full of shame and dis- 
grace? No! a thousand times no! Compatriots, 
death rather than that! Who of you does not 
feel his heart beat and his blood boil on con- 
templating our situation? Who will be the 
Mexican that will not be indignant and rise in 
arms to destroy our oppressors? We believe 
there will be not one so vile and cowardly!" 

Gillespie had left the government house (lo- 

cated on what is now the site of the St. Charles 
Hotel) and taken a position on Fort Hill, where 
he had erected a temporary barricade of sacks 
filled with earth and had mounted his cannon 
there. The Americans had been summoned to 
surrender, but hail refused. They were besieged 
by the Californians. There was but little firing 
between the combatants, an occasional sortie 
and a volley of rifle balls by the Americans 
when the Californians approached too near. 
The Californians were well mounted, but poorly 
armed, their weapons being principally muskets, 
shotguns, pistols, lances and riatas; while the 
Americans were armed with long-range rifles, 
of which the Californians had a wholesome 
dread. The fear of these arms and his cannon 
doubtless saved Gillespie and his men from 

On the 24th Gillespie dispatched a messenger 
to find Stockton at Monterey, or at San Fran- 
cisco if he had left Monterey, and apprise him 
of the perilous situation of the Americans at 
Los Angeles. Gillespie's dispatch bearer, John 
Brown, better known by his California nick- 
name, Juan Flaco or Lean John, made one of 
the most wonderful rides in history. Gillespie 
furnished Juan Flaco with a package of cigar- 
ctees, the paper of each bearing the inscription, 
"Believe the bearer;" these were stampd with 
Gillespie's seal. Brown started from Los Angeles 
at 8 p. m., September 24, and claimed to have 
reached Verba Buena at 8 p. m. of the 28th, 
a ride of six hundred and thirty miles in four 
days. This is incorrect. Colton, who was al- 
calde of Monterey at that time, notes Brown's 
arrival at that place on the evening of the 29th. 
Colton, in his "Three Years in California," says 
that Brown rode the whole distance (Los An- 
geles to Monterey) of four hundred and sixty 
miles in fifty-two hours, during which time he 
had not slept. His intelligence was for Com- 
modore Stockton and, in the nature of the case, 
was not committed to paper, except a few words 
rolled in a cigar fastened in his hair. But the 
commodore had sailed for San Francisco and 
it was necessary lie should go one hundred and 
forty miles further. He was quite exhausted 
anil was allowed to sleep three hours. Before 
day he was it]) and awa\ on his journey. Gil- 


lespie, in a letter published in the Los Angeles 
Star, May 28, 1858, describing Juan Flaco's ride 
says: "Before sunrise of the 29th he was lying 
in the bushes at San Francisco, in front of the 
congress frigate, waiting for the early market 
boat to come on shore, and he delivered my 
dispatches to Commodore Stockton before 7 

In trying to steal through tl*e picket line of 
the Mexicans at Los Angeles, he was discovered 
and pursued by a squad of them. A hot race 
ensued. Finding the enemy -gaining on him he 
forced his horse to leap a wide ravine. A shot 
from one of his pursuers mortally wounded his 
horse, which, after running a short distance, fell 
dead. Flaco, carrying his spurs and riata, made 
his way on foot in the darkness to Las Virgines, 
a distance of twenty-seven miles. Here he se- 
cured another mount and again set off on his 
perilous journey. The trail over which Flaco 
held his way was not like "the road from Win- 
chester town, a good, broad highway leading 
down," but instead a Camino de heradura, bridle 
path, now winding up through rocky canons, 
skirting along the edge of precipitous cliffs, then 
zigzagging down chaparral covered mountains; 
now over the sands of the sea beach and again 
across long stretches of brown mesa, winding 
through narrow valleys and out onto the rolling 
hills — a trail as nature made it, unchanged by 
the hand of man. Such was the highway over 
which Flaco's steeds "stretched away with ut- 
most speed." Harassed and pursued by the 
enemy, facing death night and day, with scarcely 
a stop or a stay to eat or sleep, Juan Flaco rode 
six hundred miles. 

"Of all the rides since the birth of time. 
Told in story or sung in rhyme, 
The fleetesl ride that ever was sped," 

was Juan Flaco's ride from Los Angeles to San 
Francisco. Longfellow has immortalized the 
"Ride of Paul Revere," Robert Browning tells 
in stirring verse of the riders who brought the 
good news from Ghent to Aix, and Buchanan 
Read thrills us with the heroic measures of Sher- 
idan's Ride. Xo poet has sung of Juan Flaco's 
wonderful ride, fleeter, longer and more perilous 
than any of these. Flaco rode six hundred miles 

through the enemy's country, to bring aid to a 
besieged garrison, while Revere and Jorris and 
Sheridan were in the country of friends or pro- 
tected by an army from enemies. 

Gillespie's situation was growing more and 
more desperate each day. B. D. Wilson, who 
with a company of riflemen had been on an 
expedition against the Indians, had been ordered 
by Gillespie to join him. They reached the 
Chino ranch, where a fight took place between 
them and the Californians. Wilson's men being 
out of ammunition were compelled to sur- 
render. In the charge upon the adobe, where 
Wilson and his men had taken refuge, Carlos 
Ballestaros had been killed and several Cali- 
fornians wounded. This and Gillespie's stubborn 
resistance had embittered the Californians against 
him and his men. The Chino prisoners had been 
saved from massacre after their surrender by 
the firmness and bravery of Yarela. If Gillespie 
continued to hold the town his obstinacy might 
bring down the vengeance of the Californians 
not only upon him and his men. but upon many 
of the American residents of the south, who had 
favored their countrymen. 

Finally Flores issued his ultimatum to the 
Americans, surrender within twenty-four hours 
or take the consequences of an onslaught by 
the Californians, which might result in the mas- 
sacre of the entire garrison. In the meantime 
he kept his cavalry deployed on the hills, com- 
pletely investing the Americans. Despairing of 
assistance from Stockton, on the advice of Wil- 
son, who had been permitted by Flores to inter- 
cede with Gillespie, articles of capitulation were 
drawn up and signed by Gillespie and the leaders 
of the Californians. On the 30th of September 
the Americans marched out of the city with all 
the honors of war, drums beating, colors flying 
and two pieces of artillery mounted on carts 
drawn by oxen. They arrived at San Pedro 
without molestation and four or five days later 
embarked on the merchant ship Vandalia, which 
remained at anchor in the bay. Gillespie in 
his march was accompanied by a few of the 
American residents and probably a dozen of the 
Chino prisoners, who had been exchanged for 
the same number of Californians. whom he 
had held under arrest most likely as hostages. 



Gillespie took two cannon with him when he 
evacuated the city, leaving two spiked and broken 
on Fort Hill. There seems to have been a pro- 
viso in the articles of capitulation requiring him 

to deliver the guns to Flores on reaching the 
embarcadero. If there was such a stipulation Gil- 
lespie violated it. lie spiked the guns, broke off 
the trunnions and rolled one of them into the bay. 



THE revolt of the Californians at Los An- 
geles was followed by similar uprisings 
in the different centers of population 
where American garrisons were stationed. Upon 
the receipt of Gillespie's message Commodore 
Stockton ordered Captain Mervine to proceed 
at once to San Pedro to regain, if possible, the 
lost territory. Juan Flaco had delivered his 
message to Stockton on September 30. Early 
on the morning of October 1st, Captain Mer- 
vine got under way for San Pedro. '"He went 
ashore at Sausalito," says Gillespie, "on some 
trivial excuse, and a dense fog coming on he 
was compelled to remain there until the 4th." 

Of the notable events occurring during the 
conquest of California there are few others of 
which there are so contradictory accounts as 
that known as the battle of Dominguez Ranch, 
where Mervine was defeated and compelled to re- 
treat to San Pedro. Historians differ widely 
in the number engaged and in the number killed. 
The following account of Mervine's expedition 
I take from a log book kept by Midshipman and 
Acting-Lieut. Robert C. Duvall of the Savannah. 
He commanded a company during the battle. 
This book was donated to the Historical So- 
ciety of Southern California by Dr. J. E. Cowles 
of Los Angeles, a nephew of Lieutenant Duvall. 
The account given by Lieutenant Duvall is one 
of the fullest and most accurate in existence. 

"At 9.30 a. m." (October 1, 1846), says Lieu- 
tenant Duvall, "we commenced working out of 
the harbor of San Francisco on the ebb tide. 
The ship anchored at Sausalito. where, on ac- 
count of a dense fog, it remained until the 4th, 
when it put to sea. On the 7th the ship entered 
the harbor of San Pedro. At 6:30 p. m., as we 

were standing in for anchorage, we made out 
the American merchant ship Vandalia, having 
on her decks a body of men. On passing she 
saluted with two guns, which was repeated with 
three cheers, which we returned. :: * * * 
Iirevet Capt. Archibald Gillespie came on board 
and reported that he had evacuated the Pueblo 
de Los Angeles on account of the overpowering 
force of the enemy and had retired with his 
men on board the Vandalia after having spiked 
his guns, one of which he threw into the water. 
He also reported that the whole of California 
below the pueblo had risen in arms against our 
authorities, headed by Flores, a Mexican cap- 
tain on furlough in this country, who had but 
a few days ago given his parole of honor not 
to take up arms against the United States. We 
made preparations to land a force to march to 
the pueblo at daylight. 

"October 8, at 6 a. in., all the boats left the 
ship for the purpose of landing the forces, num- 
bering in all two hundred and ninety-nine men. 
including the volunteers under command of Cap- 
tain Gillespie. At 6:30 all were landed without 
opposition, the enemy in small detachments re- 
treating toward the pueblo. From their move- 
ments we apprehended that their whole force 
was near. Captain Mervine sent on board ship 
for a reinforcement of eighty men. under com- 
mand of Lieut. R. B. Hitchcock. At 8 a. in. 
the several companies, all under command of 
('apt William Mervine, took up the line of 
march for the purpose of retaking the pueblo. 
The enemy retreated as our forces advanced. 
M hi landing. William A. Smith, firsl cabin boy. 
was killed by the discharge of a Colt's 
pistol.) The reinforcements under the com- 



mand of Lieut. R. B. Hitchcock returned on 
board ship. Lor the first four miles our march 
was through hills and ravines, which the enemy 
might have taken advantage of, but preferred to 
occupy as spectators only, until our approach. 
A few shots from our flankers (who were the 
volunteer riflemen) would start them off; they 
returned the compliment before going. The 
remainder of our march was performed over a 
continuous plain overgrown with wild mustard, 
rising in places to six or eight feet in height. 
The ground was excessively dry, the clouds of 
dust were suffocating and there was not a breath 
of wind in motion. There was no water on our 
line of march for ten or twelve miles and we 
suffered greatly from thirst. 

"At 2:30 p. m. we reached our camping 
ground. The enemy appeared in considerable 
numbers. Their numbers continued to increase 
until sundown, when they formed on a hill near 
us, gradually inclining towards our camp. They 
were admirably formed for a cavalry charge. 
We drew up our forces to meet them, but find- 
ing they were disposed to remain stationary, 
the marines, under command of Captain Mars- 
ton, the Cult's riflemen, under command of 
Lieut. I. B. Carter and myself, and the volun- 
teers, under command of Capt. A. Gillespie, were 
ordered to charge on them, which we did. They 
stood their ground until our shots commenced 
'telling' on them, when they took to flight in 
every direction. They continued to annoy us by 
firing into our camp through the night. About 2 
a. m. they brought a piece of artillery and fired 
into our camp, the shot striking the ground 
near us. The marines, riflemen and volunteers 
were sent in pursuit of the gun, but could see 
or hear nothing of it. 

"We left our camp the next morning at 6 
o'clock. Our plan of march was in column by 
platoon. We had not proceeded far before the 
enemy appeared before us drawn up on each 
side of the road, mounted on fine horses, each 
man armed with a lance and carbine. They also 
had a field piece (a four-pounder), to which were 
hitched eight or ten horses, placed on the road 
ahead of us. 

"Captain Mervine, thinking it was the enemy's 
intention to throw us into confusion by using 

their gun on us loaded with round shot and 
copper grape shot and then charge us with their 
cavalry, ordered us to form a square — which was 
the order of march throughout the battle. When 
within about four hundred yards of them the 
enemy opened on us with their artillery. We 
made frequent charges, driving them before us, 
and at one time causing them to leave some of 
their cannon balls and cartridges; but owing to 
the rapidity with which they could carry off 
the gun, using their lassos on every part, en- 
abled them to choose their own distance, en- 
tirely out of all range of our muskets. Their 
horsemen kept out of danger, apparently con- 
tent to let the gun do the fighting. They kept 
up a constant fire with their carbines, but these 
did no harm. The enemy numbered between 
one hundred and seventy-five and two hundred 

"Linding it impossible to capture the gun, the 
retreat was sounded. The captain consulted 
with his officers on the best steps to be taken. 
Jt was decided unanimously to return on board 
ship. To continue the march would sacrifice 
a number of lives to no purpose, for, admitting 
we could have reached the pueblo, all com- 
munications would be cut off with the ship, and 
we would further be constantly annoyed by their 
artillery without the least chance of capturing 
it. It was reported that the enemy were be- 
tween five and six hundred strong at the city 
and it was thought he had more artillery. On 
retreating they got the gun planted on a hill 
ahead of us. 

"The captain made us an address, saying to 
the troops that it was his intention to march 
straight ahead in the same orderly manner in 
which we had advanced, and that sooner than 
he would surrender to such an enemy, he would 
sacrifice himself and every other man in his 
command. The enemy fired into us four times 
en the retreat, the fourth shot falling short, the 
report of the gun indicating a small quantity of 
powder, after which they remained stationary 
and manifested no further disposition to molest 
r,s. We proceeded quietly on our march to the 
landing, where we found a body of men under 
command of Lieutenant Hitchcock with two 
nine-pounder cannon gotten from the Yandalia 


to render us assistance in case we should need it. 

"We presented truly a pitiable condition, 
many being barely able to drag one foot after 
the other from excessive fatigue, having gone 
through the exertions and excitement in battle 
and afterwards performing a march of eighteen 
or twenty miles without rest. This is the first 
battle I have ever been engaged in, and, having 
taken particular notice of those around me, I 
can assert that no men could have acted more 
bravely. Even when their shipmates were fall- 
ing by their sides, I saw but one impulse and 
that was to push forward, and when retreat was 
ordered I noticed a general reluctance to turn 
their backs to the enemy. 

"The following is a list of the killed and 
wounded: Michael Hoey, ordinary seaman, 
killed; David Johnson, ordinary seaman, killed; 
William H. Berry, ordinary seaman, mortally 
wounded; Charles Sommers, musician, mortally 
wounded; John Tyre, seaman, severely 
wounded; John Anderson, seaman, severely 
wounded; recovery doubtful. The following- 
named were slightly wounded: William Con- 
land, marine; Hiram Rockvill, marine; II. Lin- 
land, marine; James Smith, marine. 

"On the following morning we buried the 
bodies of William A. Smith, Charles Sommers, 
David Johnson and Michael Hoey on an island 
in the harbor. 

"At ii a. m. the captain called a council of 
commissioned officers regarding the proper 
course to adopt in the present crisis, which de- 
cided that no force should be landed, and that 
the ship remain here until further orders from 
the commodore, who is daily expected." 

Entry in the log for Sunday, nth: "William 
H. Berry, ordinary seaman, departed this life 
from the effect of wounds received in battle. 
Sent his body for interment to Dead Man's 
Island, so named by us. Mustered the com- 
mand at quarters, after which performed divine 

From this account it will be seen that the 
number killed and died of wounds received in 
battle was four; number wounded six, and one 
accidentally killed before the battle. On October 
22d, Henry Lewis died and was buried on the 
island. Lewis' name does not appear in the list 

of wounded. It is presumable that he died of 
disease. Six of the crew of the Savannah were 
buried on Dead Man's Island, four of whom 
were killed in battle. Lieutenant Duvall gives 
the following list of the officers in the "Expedi- 
tion on the march to retake Pueblo de Los An- 
geles:" Capt. William Mervine, commanding; 
('apt. Ward Marston, commanding marines; 
Brevet Capt. A. H. Gillespie, commanding vol- 
unteers; Lieut. Henry W. Queen, adjutant; 
Lieut. B. F. Pinckney, commanding first com- 
pany; Lieut. W. Rinckindoff, commanding sec- 
ond company; Lieut. I. B. Carter, Colt's rifle- 
men; Midshipman R. I). Minor, acting lieuten- 
ant second company; Midshipman S. P. Griffin, 
acting lieutenant first company; Midshipman P. 
( i. Walmough, acting lieutenant second com- 
pany; Midshipman R. C Duvall, acting lieuten- 
ant Colt's riflemen; Captain Clark and Captain 
Goodsall, commanding pikemen; Lieutenant 
Hiensley, first lieutenant volunteers; Lieutenant 
Russeau, second lieutenant volunteers. 

The piece of artillery that did such deadly 
execution on the Americans was the famous ( >ld 
Woman's gun. It was a bronze four-pounder, i ir 
pedrero (swivel-gun) that for a number of years 
had stood on the plaza in front of the church, 
and was used for firing salutes on feast days and 
other occasions. When on the approach of 
Stockton's and Fremont's forces Castro aban- 
doned his artillery and fled, an old lady. Dona 
Clara Cota de Reyes, declared that the gringos 
should not have the church's gun; so, with the 
assistance of her daughters, she buried it in a 
cane patch near her residence, which stood on 
the east side of Alameda street, near first. 
When the Californians revolted against Gil- 
lespie's rule the gun was unearthed and used 
against him. The Historical Societ) of South- 
ern California has in iis possession a brass 
grapeshot, one of a charge that was fired into 
the face of Port Hill at Gillespie's nun when 
they were posted on the hill. This gun was in 
the exhibit of trophies at the New < trleans Ex- 
position in 1885. The label on it read: "Trophy 
53, No. 63, Class 7. Used by Mexico against 
the United States at the battle of Dominguez 1 
Ranch. ( )ctober 9, [846; al San Gabriel and the 
Mesa, January 8 and 9, [847; used by the United 



States forces against Mexico at Mazatlan, No- 
vember ii, 1847; Urios (crew all killed or 
wounded), Palos Frietos, December 13, 1847, 
and Lower California, at San Jose, February 15, 

Before the battle the old gun had been 
mounted on forward axle of a Jersey wagon, 
which a man by the name of Hunt had brought 
across the plains the year before. It was lashed 
to the axle by means of rawhide thongs, and 
was drawn by riatas, as described by Lieutenant 
Duvall. The range was obtained by raising or 
lowering the pole of the wagon. Ignacio Aguilar 
acted as gunner, and having neither lanyard or 
pent-stock to fire it. he touched off the gun with 
the lighted end of a cigarette. Never before or 
since, perhaps, was a battle won with such crude 
artillery. Jose Antonio Carrillo was in com- 
mand of the Californians. During the skirmish- 
ing of the first day he had between eighty and 
ninety men. During the night of the 8th Flores 
joined him with a force of sixty men. Next 
morning Flores returned to Los Angeles, taking 
with him twenty men. Carrillo's force in the 
battle numbered about one hundred and twenty 
men. Had Mervine known that the Californians 
had fired their last shot (their powder being ex- 
hausted! he could have pushed on and captured 
the pueblo. 

The expulsion of Gillespie's garrison from 
Los Angeles and the defeat of Mervine's force 
raised the spirits of the Californians, and there 
was great rejoicing at the pueblo. Detachments 
of Flores' army were kept at Sepulveda's rancho, 
the Palos Verdes, and at Temple's rancho of the 
Cerritos, to watch the Savannah and report any 
attempt at landing. The leaders of the revolt 
were 1 1 ■ >t so sanguine of success as the rank and 
tile. They wen- without means to procure arms 
and supplies. There was a scarcity of ammuni- 
tion, too. An inferior article of gunpowder was 
manufactured in limited quantities at San 
Gabriel. The onl) uniformity in weapons was 
in lances. These were rough, home-made af- 
fairs, the blade beaten out of a rasp or file, and 
the shaft a willow pole about eight feet long. 
These weapons were Formidable in a charge 
against infantry, bul easily parried 1>\ a swords- 
man in a cavalry charge. 

After the defeat of Mervine, Flores set about 
reorganizing the territorial government. He 
called together the departmental assembly. It 
met at the capital (Los Angeles) October 26th. 
The members present, Figueroa, Botello, Guerra 
and Olvera, were all from the south. The as- 
sembly decided to fill the place of governor, 
vacated by Pico, and that of comandante-gen- 
eral, left vacant by the flight of Castro. 

Jose Maria Flores, who was now recognized 
as the leader of the revolt against American rule, 
was chosen to fill both offices, and the two of- 
fices, as had formerly been the custom, were 
united in one person. He chose Narciso Bo- 
tello for his secretary. Flores, who was Mex- 
ican born, was an intelligent and patriotic officer. 
He used every means in his power to prepare 
his forces for the coming conflict with the 
Americans, hut with little success. The old 
jealousy of the hijos del pais against the Mex- 
ican would crop out, and it neutralized his 
efforts. There were bickerings and complaints 
in the ranks and among the officers. The na- 
tives claimed that a Californian ought to be 
chief in command. 

The feeling of jealousy against Flores at 
length culminated in open revolt. Flores had 
decided to send the prisoners taken at the Chino 
tight to Mexico. His object was twofold — first, 
to enhance his own glory with the Mexican 
government, and, secondly, by showing what 
the Californians had already accomplished to 
obtain aid in the coming conflict. As most of 
these men were married to California wives, 
ami by marriage related to many of the leading- 
California families of the south, there was at 
once a family uproar and fierce denunciations 
of Flores. But as the Chino prisoners were 
foreigners, and had been taken while fighting 
against the Mexican government, it was neces- 
sary to disguise the hostility to Flores under 
some other pretext. He was charged with the 
design of running away to Sonora with the pub- 
lic funds. ( )n the night of December 3, Francisco 
Rii 0, .11 the head of a party of Californians, took 
possession of the cuartel. or guard house, and 
arrested Flores. A special session of the as- 
sembly was called to investigate the charges. 
Flores expressed his willingness to give up 



his purpose of sending the Chino prisoners t< < 
Mexico, and the assembly found no foundation 
to the charge of his design of running away 
with the public funds, nor did they find any 
funds to run away with. Flores was liberated, 
and Rico imprisoned in turn. 

Flores was really the last Mexican governor 
of California. Like Pico, he was elected by the 
territorial legislature, but he was not confirmed 
by the .Mexican congress. Generals Scott and 
Taylor were keeping President Santa Anna and 

his congress on the move so rapidly they had no 
time to spare for California affairs. 

Flores was governor from October 20, 1846, 
to January 8, 1847. 

With a threatened invasion by the Americans 
and a divided people within, it was hard times 
in the .old pueblo. The town had to supply 
the army with provisions. The few who pos- 
sessed money hid it away and all business was 
suspended except preparations to meet the 



that the revolt of the Californians was 
a serious affair, ordered Fremont's bat- 
talion, which had been recruited to one hun- 
dred and sixty men, to proceed to the south to 
co-operate with him in quelling the rebellion. 
The battalion sailed on the Sterling, but shortly 
after putting to sea, meeting the Yandalia. Fre- 
mont learned of Mervine's defeat and also that 
no horses could be procured in the lower coun- 
try; the vessel was put about and the battalion 
landed at Monterey, October 28. It was decided 
to recruit the battalion to a regiment and 
mounting it to march down the coast. Recruit- 
ing was actively begun among the newly ar- 
rived immigrants. Horses and saddles were 
procured by giving receipts on the government, 
payable after the close of the war or by confisca- 
tion if it brought returns quicker than receipts. 

The report of the revolt in the south quickly 
spread among the Californians in the north and 
they made haste to resist their spoilers. Manuel 
Castro was made comandante of the military 
forces of the north, headquarters at San Luis 
Obispo. Castro collected a force of about one 
hundred men, well mounted but poorly armed. 
His purpose was to carry on a sort of guerrilla 
warfare, capturing men and horses from the 
enemy whenever an opportunity offered. 

Fremont, now raised to the rank of lieuten- 
ant colonel in the regular army with head- 

quarters at Monterey, was rapidly mobilizing his 
motley collection of recruits into a formidable 
force. Officers and men were scouring the 
country for recruits, horses, accouterments and 
supplies. Two of these recruiting squads en- 
countered the enemy in considerable force and 
an engagement known as the battle of Natividad 
ensued. Capt. Charles Burroughs with thirty- 
four men and two hundred horses, recruited at 
Sacramento, arrived at San Juan Bautista, No- 
vember 15, on his way to .Monterey on the same 
day Captain Thompson, with about the same 
number of men recruited at San Jose, reached 
San Juan. The Californians, with the design of 
capturing the horses, made a night march from 
their camp on the Salinas. At Gomez rancho 
they took prisoner Thomas ( ). Larkin, the 
American consul, who was on his way from 
Monterey to San Francisco on official business. 
On the morning of the Kith the Americans be- 
gan their march for Monterey. At Gomez 
rancho their advance learned of the presence of 
the enemy and of the capture of Larkin. A 
squad of six or eight scouts was sent out to find 
the Californians. The scouts encountered a 
detachment of Castro's force at Encinalitos 
(Little Oaks) and a fight ensued. The main body 
of the enemy came up and surrounded the -rove 
of oaks. The scouts, though greatlj outnum- 
bered, were well armed with long range rifles and 
held the eneim a; bay, until Captains Burroughs 



and Thompson brought up their companies. 
Burroughs, who seems to have been the ranking 
officer, hesitated to charge the Californians, who 
had the superior force, and besides he was fear- 
ful of losing his horses and thus delaying Fre- 
mont's movements. But, taunted with cowardice 
and urged on by Thompson, a fire eater, who 
was making loud protestations of his bravery, 
Burroughs ordered a charge. The Americans, 
badly mounted, were soon strung out in an ir- 
regular line. The Californians, who had made a 
feint of retreating, turned and attacked with 
vigor, Captain Burroughs and four or five others 
were killed. The straggling line fell back on the 
main body and the Californians, having ex- 
pended their ammunition, retreated. The loss 
in killed and wounded amounted to twelve or 
fifteen on each side. 

The only other engagement in the north was 
the bloodless battle of Santa Clara. Fremont's 
methods of procuring horses, cattle and other 
supplies was to take them and give in payment 
demands on the government, payable after the 
close of the war. After his departure the same 
method was continued by the officers of the 
garrisons at San Francisco, San Jose and Mon- 
terey. Indeed, it was their only method of pro- 
curing supplies- The quartermasters were 
without money and the government without 
credit. On the 8th of December Lieutenant 
Bartlett, also alcaide of Verba Buena, with a 
squad of five men started down the peninsula 
toward San Jose to purchase supplies. Fran- 
cisco Sanchez, a randier, whose horse and cattle 
corrals had been raided by former purchasers, 
with a band of Californians waylaid and cap- 
tured Bartlett and his men. Other California 
rancheros who had 1< >st their stock in similar 
raids rallied to the support of Sanchez and soon 
he found himself at the head of one hundred 
men. Tin- object of their organization was 
rather to protect thi h pr 'pert) than to fight. The 
news soon spread that the Californians had re- 
volted and were preparing to massacre the 
Americans. Captain Weber of San Jose had a 
company of thirty-three men organized for de- 
fense. There was also a company of twenty 
me i under command of Captain A.ram stationed 
at the ex-mission of Santa Clara. On the _>oth 

of December, Capt. Ward Marston with a de- 
tachment of thirty-four men and a field piece in 
charge of Master de Long and ten sailors was 
sent to Santa Clara. The entire force collected 
at the seat of war numbered one hundred and 
one men. On January 2 the American force 
encountered the Californians, one hundred 
strong, on the plains of Santa Clara. Firing at 
long range began and continued for an hour or 
more. Sanchez sent in a flag of truce asking an 
armistice preparatory to the settlement of diffi- 
culties. January 3. Captain Aladdox arrived 
from Monterey with fifty-nine mounted men, 
and on the 7th Lieutenant Grayson came with 
fifteen men. On the 8th a treaty of peace was 
concluded, by which, the enemy surrendered 
Lieutenant Bartlett and all the other prisoners, 
as well as their arms, including a small field 
piece and were permitted to go to their homes. 
Upon "reliable authority" four Californians were 
reported killed, but their graves have never been 
discovered nor did their living relatives, so far 
as known, mourn their loss. 

Stockton with his flagship, the Congress, ar- 
rived at San Pedro on the 23d of October, 1846. 
The Savannah was still lying at anchor in the 
harbor. The commodore had now at San Pedro 
a force of about eight hundred men; but, not- 
withstanding the contemptuous opinion he held 
of the Californian soldiers, he did not march 
against the pueblo. Stockton in his report 
says: "Plated by this transient success (Mer- 
vine's defeat), which the enemy with his usual 
want of veracity magnified into a great victory, 
they collected in large bodies on all the adjacent 
hills and would not permit a hoof except their 
own horses to be within fifty miles of San 
Pedro." But "in the face of their boasting in- 
solence" Stockton landed and again hoisted "the 
glorious stars and stripes in the presence of 
their horse covered hills." "The enemy had 
driven oft" every animal, man and beast from 
that section of the country; and it was not pos- 
sible by any means in our power to carry pro- 
\iMons for our march to the city." The city 
was only thirty miles away and American sol- 
diers have been known to carry rations in their 
haversacks for a march of one hundred miles. 
Tlie "transient success" of the insolent enemy 



had evidently made an impression on Stockton. 
He estimated the California force in the vicinity 
of the landing at eight hundred men, which was 
just seven hundred too high. He determined 
to approach Los Angeles by way of San Diego, 
and on the last day of October he sailed for that 
port. B. D. Wilson, Stephen C. Foster and 
others attribute Stockton's abandonment of an 
attack on Los Angeles from San Pedro to a 
trick played on him by Jose Antonio Carrillo. 
Carrillo was in command of the detachment 
stationed at the Cerritos and the Palos Yerdes. 
Carrillo was anxious to obtain an interview with 
Stockton and if possible secure a cessation of 
hostilities until the war then progressing in 
Mexico should be decided, thus settling the 
fate of California. B. D. Wilson, one of the 
Chino prisoners, was sent with a Mexican ser- 
geant to raise a white flag as the boats of the 
Congress approached the landing and present 
Carrillo's proposition for a truce. Carrillo, with 
the intention of giving Stockton an exaggerated 
idea of the number of his troops and thus ob- 
taining more favorable terms in the proposeil 
treaty, collected droves of wild horses from the 
plains; these his caballeros kept in motion, pass- 
ing and repassing through a gap in the hills, 
which was in plain view from Stockton's vessel. 
Owing to the dust raised by the cavalcade it was 
impossible to discover that most of the horses 
were riderless. The troops were signalled to re- 
turn to the vessel, and the commodore shortly 
afterwards sailed to San Diego. Carrillo al- 
ways regretted that he made too much demon- 

As an illustration of the literary trash that 
has been palmed off for California history, I 
give an extract from Frost's Pictorial History 
of California, a book written the year after 
the close of the Mexican war by Prof. 
John Frost, a noted compiler of histories, who 
writes LL. D. after his name. It relates to 
Stockton's exploits at San Pedro. "At the 
Rancho Sepulveda (the Palos Verdes) a large 
force of Californians were posted, Commodore 
Stockton sent one hundred men Forward to re 
ceive the fire of the enemy and then fall back- 
on the main body without returning it. The 
main bodv of Stockton's army was formed in a 

triangle with the guns hid by the men. By the 
retreat of the advance party the enemy were 
decoyed close to the main force, when the wings 
(of the triangle) were extended and a deadly fire 
from the artillery opened upon the astonished 
Californians. More than one hundred were 
killed, the same number wounded and one hun- 
dred prisoners taken." The mathematical ac- 
curacy of Stockton's artillerists was truly 
astonishing. They killed a man for every one 
wounded and took a prisoner for every man 
they killed. As Flores' army never amounted 
to more than three hundred, it we are to believe 
Frost, Stockton had all the enemy '"present or 
accounted for." This silly fabrication of Frost's 
runs through a number of so-called histories of 
California. Stockton was a brave man and a 
very energetic commander, but he would boast 
of his achievements, and his reports are unre- 

As previously mentioned, Fremont after his 
return to Monterey proceeded to recruit a force 
to move against Los Angeles by land from Mon- 
terey. His recruits were principally obtained 
from the recently arrived immigrants. Each man 
was furnished with a horse and was to receive 
$25 a month. A force of about four hundred 
and fifty was obtained. Fremont left Monterey 
November 17 and rendezvoused at San Juan 
Bautista, where he remained to the 29th of the 
month organizing his battalion. ( )n the 29th 
of November he began his inarch southward to 
co-operate with Stockton against Flores. 

After the expulsion of Gillespie and his men 
from Los Angeles, detachments from Flores' 
army were sent to Santa Barbara and San 
Diego to recapture these places. At Santa Bar- 
bara Fremont had left nine men of his battalion 
under Lieut. Theodore Talbot to garrison the 
town A demand was made on the garrison to 
surrender by Colonel Garfias of Flores' army. 
Two hours were given the Americans to decide, 
[nstead of surrendering they fell back into the 
hills, where the) remained three or four days, 
hoping that reinforcements might be sent them 
from Monterey. Their only subsistence was the 
flesh of an old gray mare of Daniel Hill's that 
they captured, brought into camp and killed. 
They secured one of Micheltorena's cholos that 



had remained in the country and was living in 
a canon among the hills for a guide. He fur- 
nished them a horse to carry their blankets and 
conducted them through the mountains to the 
San Joaquin valley. Here the guide left them 
with the Indians, he returning to Santa Barbara. 
The Indians fed them on chia (wild flaxseed), 
mush and acorn bread. They traveled down the 
San Joaquin valley. On their journey they lived 
on the flesh of wild horses, seventeen of which 
they killed. After many hardships they reached 
Monterey on the 8th of November, where they 
joined Fremont's battalion. 

Captain Merritt, of Fremont's battalion, had 
been left at San Diego with [arty men to hold 
the town when the battalion marched north to 
co-operate with Stockton against Los Angeles. 
Immediately after Gillespie's retreat, Francisco 
Rico was sent with fifty men to capture the 
place. He was joined by recruits at San Diego. 
Merritt being in no condition to stand a siege, 
took refuge on board the American whale ship 
Stonington, which was lying at anchor. After 
remaining on board the Stonington ten clays, 
taking advantage of the laxity of discipline 
among the Californians, he stole a march on 
them, recapturing the town and one piece of 
artillery. He sent Don Miguel de Pedrorena, 
who was one of his allies, in a whale boat with 
four sailors to San Pedro to obtain supplies 
and assistance. Pedrorena arrived at San Pedro 
on the 13th of October with Merritt's dis- 
patches. Captain Mervine chartered the whale 
ship Magnolia, which was lying in the San 
Pedro harbor, and dispatched Lieutenant Minor, 
.Midshipman Duvall and Morgan with thirty- 
three sailors and fifteen of Gillespie's volun- 
teers to reinforce Merritt. They reached San 
Diego on the 16th. The combined forces of 
Minor and Merritt, numbering about ninety 
men, put in the greater part of the next two 
weeks in dragging cannon from the old fort 
and mounting them at their barracks, which 
were located "ii the hill at the edge of tile plain 

on the wesl side <>f the town, convenienl to 
water. They succeeded in mounting si\ brass 
nine-pounders and building two bastions of 
adobes, taken from an old house. There was 
constant skirmishing between the hostile parties. 

but few fatalities. The Americans claimed to 
have killed three of the enemy, and one Amer- 
ican was ambushed and killed. 

The Californians kept well out of range, but 
prevented the Americans from obtaining sup- 
plies. Their provisions were nearly exhausted, 
and when reduced to almost the last extreme 
they made a successful foraging expedition and 
procured a supply of mutton. Midshipman Du- 
vall thus describes the adventure: "We had 
with us an Indian (chief of a numerous tribe) 
who, from his knowledge of the country, we 
thought could avoid the enemy; and getting 
news of a number of sheep about thirty-five miles 
to the south on the coast, we determined to send 
him and his companion to drive them onto an 
island which at low tide connected with the 
mainland. In a few days a signal was made on 
the island, and the boats of the whale ship 
Stonington, stationed off the island, were sent 
to it. Our good old Indian had managed, 
through his cunning and by keeping concealed 
in ravines, to drive onto the island about six hun- 
dred sheep, but his companion had been caught 
and killed by the enemy. I shall never forget 
his famished appearance, but pride in his Indian 
triumph could be seen playing in his dark eyes. 

"For thirty or forty days we were constantly 
expecting, from the movements of the enemy, 
an attack, soldiers and officers sleeping on their 
arms and ready for action. About the 1st of 
November, Commodore Stockton arrived, and, 
after landing Captain Gillespie with his com- 
pany and about forty-three marines, he suddenly 
disappeared, leaving Lieutenant Minor governor 
of the place and Captain Gillespie command- 

Foraging continued, the whale ship Ston- 
ington, which had been impressed into the 
government service, being used to take parties 
down the coast, who made raids inland and 
brought back with them catties and horses. 

Tt was probably on one of these excursions 
that the Hag-making episode occurred, of which 
there are more versions than Homer had birth- 
places. The correct version of the story is as 
follows: A party had been sent under com- 

*Log Book wf Acting Lieutenant Dt 



mand of Lieutenant Hensley to Juan Bandini's 
rancho in Lower California to bring up bands 
of cattle and horses. Bandini was an adherent 
of the American cause. He and his family re- 
turned with the cavalcade to San Diego. At 
their last camping place before reaching the 
town, Hensley, in a conversation with Bandini, 
regretted they had no flag with them to display 
on their entry into the town. Sehora Bandini 
volunteered to make one, which she did from 
red, white and blue dresses of her children. 
This flag, fastened to a staff, was carried at the 
head of the cavalcade when it made its triumphal 
entry into San Diego. The Mexican govern- 
ment confiscated Bandini's ranches in Lower 
California on account of his friendship to the 
Americans during the war. 

Skirmishing continued almost daily. Jose 
Antonio Carrillo was now in command of the 
Californians, their force numbering about one 
hundred men. Commodore Stockton returned 
and decided to fortify. Midshipman Duvall, in 
the Log Book referred to in the previous chap- 
ter, thus describes the fort: "The commodore 
now commenced to fortify the hill which over- 
looked the town by building a fort, constructed 
by placing three hundred gallon casks full of 
sand close together. The inclosure was twenty 
by thirty yards. A bank of earth and small gravel 
was thrown up in front as high as the top of 
the casks and a ditch dug around on the outside. 
Inside a ball-proof vault of ketch was built out 
of plank and lined on the inside with adobes, on 
top of which a swivel was mounted. The en- 
trance was guarded by a strong gate, with a 
drawbridge in front across the ditch or moat. 
The whole fortification was completed and the 
guns mounted on it in about three weeks. Our 
men working on the fort were on short allow- 
ance of beef and wheat, and for a time without 
bread, tea, sugar or coffee, many of them being 
destitute of shoes, but there were few com- 

"About the 1st of December, information hav- 
ing been received that General Kearny was at 
Warner's Pass, about eighty miles distant, with 
one hundred dragoons on his march to San 
Diego, Commodore Stockton immediately sent 
an escort of fifty men under command of Cap- 

tain Gillespie, accompanied by Past Midshipmen 
Beale and Duncan, having with them one piece 
of artillery. They reached General Kearny with- 
out molestation. On the march the combined 
force was surprised by about ninety-three Cal- 
ifornians at San Pasqual, under command of 
Andres Pico, who had been sent to that part 
of the country to drive off all the cattle and 
horses to prevent us from getting them. In 
the battle that ensued General Kearny lost in 
killed Captains Johnston and Moore and Lieu- 
tenant Hammond, and fifteen dragoons. Seven- 
teen dragoons were severely wounded. The 
enemy captured one piece of artillery. General 
Kearny and Captains Gillespie and Gibson were 
severely wounded; also one of the engineer offi- 
cers. Some of the dragoons have since died." 

"After the engagement ( ieneral Kearny took 
position on a hill covered with large rocks. It 
was well suited for defense. Lieutenant Godey 
of Gillespie's volunteers, the night after the 
battle, escaped through the enemy's line of sen- 
tries and came in with a letter from Captain 
Turner to the commodore. Whilst among the 
rocks, Past Midshipman Beale and Kit Carson 
managed, under cover of night, to pass out 
through the enemy's ranks, and after three days' 
and nights' hard marching through the moun- 
tains without water, succeeded in getting safely 
into San Diego, completely famished. Soon 
after arriving Lieutenant Beale fainted away, 
and for some days entirely lost his reason." 

On the night of Bealc's arrival, December 9, 
about 9 p. m., detachments of two hundred sail- 
ors and marines from the Congress and Ports- 
mouth, under the immediate command of Cap- 
tain Zeilin, assisted by Lieutenants Gray, 
Hunter, Renshaw, Parrish, Thompson and 
Tilghman and Midshipmen Duvall and Morgan, 
each man carrying a blanket, three pounds of 
jerked beef and the same of hard-tack, began 
their march to relieve General Kearny. They 
marched all night and camped on a chaparral 
covered mountain during the day. At 4 p. m. 
of the second night's march they reached 
Kearny's camp, surprising him. Godey, who 
had been sent ahead to inform Kearny that as- 
sistance was coming, had been captured by the 



enemy. General Kearny had burnt and de- 
stroyed all his baggage and camp equipage, sad- 
dles, bridles, clothing, etc., preparatory to 
forcing his way through the enemy's line. 
Burdened with his wounded, it is doubtful 
whether he could have escaped. Midshipman 
Duvall says: "It would not be a hazard of 
opinion to say he would have been overpowered 
and compelled to surrender." The enemy dis- 
appeared on the arrival of reinforcements. The 
relief expedition, with Kearny's men, reached 
San Diego after two days' march. 

A brief explanation of the reason why Kearny 
was at San Pasqual may be necessary. In June, 
1846, Gen. Stephen W. Kearny, commander of 
the Army of the West, as his command was 
designated, left Fort Leavenworth with a force 
of regulars and volunteers to take possession of 
New Mexico. The conquest of that territory 
was accomplished without a battle. Under or- 
ders from the war department, Kearny began his 
march to California with a part of his force to 
co-operate with the naval forces there. Octo- 
ber 6, near Socorro, N. M., he met Kit Carson 
with an escort of fifteen men en route from Los 
Angeles to Washington, bearing dispatches 
from Stockton, giving the report of the con- 
quest of California. Kearny required Carson to 
turn back and act as his guide. Carson was 
very unwilling to do so, as he was within a few 
days' journey of his home and family, from 
whom he had been separated for nearly two 
years. He had been guide for Fremont on his 
exploring expedition. He, however, obeyed 
Kearny's orders. 

General Kearny sent back about three hun- 
dred of his men, taking with him one hundred 
and twenty. After a toilsome march by way 
of the Pima villages. Tucson, the Gila and 
across the Colorado desert, they reached the 
Indian village of San Pasqual (about forty miles 
from San Diego), where the battle was fought. 
It was the bloodiest battle of the coiH|iiest ; 
Kearny's men, at daybreak, riding on broken 
down mules and half broken horses, in an ir- 
regular and disorderly line, charged the Califor- 
nians. While the American line was stretched 
nit over the plain Capt. Andres Pico, who was 
in command, wheeled his column and charged 

the Americans. A fierce hand to hand fight en- 
sued, the Californians using their lances and lar- 
iats, the Americans clubbed guns and sabers. Of 
Kearny's command eighteen men were killed and 
nineteen wounded; three of the wounded died. 
Only one, Capt. Abraham R. Johnston (a rela- 
tive of the author's), was killed by a gunshot; 
all the others were lanced. The mules to one 
of the howitzers became unmanageable and ran 
into the enemy's lines. The driver was killed 
and the gun captured. One Californian was 
captured and several slightly wounded; none 
were killed. Less than half of Kearny's one 
hundred and seventy men* took part in the 
battle. His loss in killed and wounded was fifty 
per cent of those engaged. Dr. John S. Grif- 
fin, for many years a leading physician of Los 
Angeles, was the surgeon of the command. 

The foraging expeditions in Lower Califor- 
nia having been quite successful in bringing in 
cattle, horses and mules, Commodore Stockton 
hastened his preparation for marching against 
Los Angeles. The enemy obtained information 
of the projected movement and left for the 

"The Cyane having arrived," says Duvall, 
"our force was increased to about six hundred 
men, most of whom, understanding the drill, 
performed the evolutions like regular soldiers. 
Everything being ready for our departure, the 
commodore left Captain Montgomery and offi- 
cers in command of the town, and on the 29th of 
December took up his line of inarch for Los An- 
geles. General Kearny was second in command 
ami having the immediate arrangement of the 
forces, reserving for himself the prerogative 
which his rank necessarily imposed upon him. 
( (wing to the weak state of our oxen we had 
not crossed the dry bed of the river San Diego 
before they began breaking down, and the carts, 
which were thirty or forty in number, had to be 
dragged by the men. The general urged on the 
commodore that it was useless to commence 
such a march as was before us with our present 
means of transportation, but the commodore 
insisted on performing at least one day's march 

♦General Kearny's original force of one hundred and 
twenty had been increased by Gillespie's command, 
numbering fifty men. 


even if we should have to return the next day. 
We succeeded in reaching the valley of the 
Soledad that night by dragging our carts. Next 
day the commodore proposed to go six miles 
farther, which we accomplished, and then con- 
tinued six miles farther. Having obtained some 
fresh oxen, by assisting the carts up hill we 
made ten or twelve miles a day. At San Luis 
Rey we secured men, carts and oxen, and after 
that our days' marches ranged from fifteen to 
twenty-two miles a day. 

"The third day out from San Luis Rey a white 
flag was seen ahead, the bearer of which had a 
communication from Flores, signing himself 
'Commander-in-Chief and Governor of Califor- 
nia,' asking for a conference for the purpose of 
coming to terms, which would be alike 'honor- 
able to both countries.' The commodore refused 
to answer him in writing, saying to the bearer 
of the truce that his answer was, 'he knew n<> 
such person as Governor Flores; that he him- 
self was the only governor in California; that 
he knew a rebel by that name, a man who had 
given his parole of honor not to take up arms 
against the government of the United States, 
who, if the people of California now in arms 
against the forces of the United States would 
deliver up, he (Stockton) would treat with them 
on condition that they surrender their arms 
and retire peaceably to their homes and he 
would grant them, as citizens of the United 
States, protection from further molestation." 
This the embassy refused to entertain, saying 
'they would prefer to die with Flores than to 
surrender on such terms.' " 

"On the 8th of January, 1847, tne y met us on 
the banks of the river San Gabriel with between 
five and six hundred men mounted on good 
horses and armed with lances and carbines, 
having also four pieces of artillery planted on 
the heights about three hundred and fifty yards 
distant from the river. Owing to circumstances 
which have occurred since the surrender of the 
enemy, I prefer not mentioning the particulars 
uf this day's battle and also that of the da) Fol 
lowing, or of referring to individuals concerned 
in the successful management of our forces." 
(The circumstance to which T. untenant Duvall 

refers was undoubtedly the quarrel between 
Stockton and Kearny after the capture of Los 
Angeles.) "It is sufficient to say that on the 8th 
of January we succeeded in crossing the river 
and driving the enemy from the heights. Hav- 
ing resisted all their charges, dismounted one 
of their pieces and put them to flight in every 
direction, we encamped on the ground they had 
occupied during the fight. 

"The next day the Californians met us on the 
plains of the mesa. For a time the fighting was 
carried on by both sides with artillery, but that 
proving too hot for them they concentrated 
their whole force in a line ahead of us and at a 
given signal divided from the center and came 
down on us like a tornado, charging us on all 
sides at the same time; but they were effectually 
defeated and fled in every direction in the ut- 
most confusion. Many of their horses were left 
dead on the field. Their loss in the two battles, 
as given by Andres Pico, second in command, 
was eighty-three killed and wounded; our loss, 
three killed (one accidentally), and fifteen or 
twenty wounded, none dangerously. The enemy 
abandoned two pieces of artillery in an Indian 
village near by." 

I have given at considerable length Midship- 
man Duvall's account of Stockton's march from 
San Diego and of the two battles fought, not 
because it is the fullest account of those events, 
but because it is original historical matter, newer 
having appeared in print before, and also he- 
cause it is the observations of a participant 
written at the time the events occurred. In it 
the losses of the enemy are greatly exaggerated, 
but that was a fault of his superior officers as 
well. Commodore Stockton, in his official re- 
ports of the two battles, gives the enemy's loss 
in killed and wounded "between seventy and 
eighty." And General Kearny, in his report of 
the battle of San Pasqual, claimed it as a vic- 
tory, and states that the enemy left six di a 
the field. The actual loss of the Californians 
in the two battles I San Gabriel river and 1 .a 
Mesa) was three killed and ten or twelve 




While the events recorded in this chapter 
were transpiring at San Diego and its vicinity, 
what was the state of affairs in the capital, Los 
Angeles? After the exultation and rejoicing 
over the expulsion of Gillespie's garrison, Mer- 
vine's defeat and the victory over Kearny at 
San Pasqual there came a reaction. Dissension 
continued between the leaders. There was lack 
of arms and laxity of discipline. The army was 
but little better than a mob. Obedience to or- 
ders of a superior was foreign to the nature of a 
Californian. His wild, free life in the saddle 
made him impatient of all restraint. Then the 
impossibility of successful resistance against 
the Americans became more and more apparent 
as the final conflict approached. Fremont's 
army was moving down on the doomed city 
from the north, and Stockton'.- was coming up 
from the south. Either one of these, in num- 
bers, exceeded the force that Flores could bring 
into action; combined they would crush him 
out of existence. The California troops were 
greatly discouraged and it was with great diffi- 
culty that the officers kept their men together. 
There was another and more potent element of 
disintegration. Many of the wealthier natives 
and all the foreigners, regarding the contest as 
hopeless, secretly favored the American cause, 
and it was only through fear of loss of property 
that they furnished Flores and his officers any 
supplies for the army. 

During the latter part of December and the 
first days of January Flores' army was stationed 
at the San Fernando Mission, on the lookout 
fur Fremont's battalion; but the more rapid 
advance of Stockton's army compelled a change 
of base. On the 6th and 7th of January Flores 
moved his arm}- back secretly through the 

Cahuenga Fass, and, passing to the southward 
of the city, took position where La Jaboneria 
(the soap factory) road crosses the San Gabriel 
river. Here his men w-ere stationed in the thick 
willows to give Stockton a surprise. Stockton 
received information of the trap set for him and 
after leaving the Los Coyotes swung off to the 
right until he struck the Upper Santa Ana road. 
The Californians had barely time to effect a 
change of base and get their cannon planted 
when the Americans arrived at the crossing. 

Stockton called the engagement there the bat- 
tle of San Gabriel river; the Californians call it 
the battle of Faso de Bartolo, which is the bet- 
ter name. The place where the battle was fought 
is on bluff just south of the Upper Santa Ana 
road, near where the Southern California 
railroad crosses the old San Gabriel river. (The 
ford or crossing was formerly known as Pico's 
Crossing.) There was, at the time of the bat- 
tle, but one San Gabriel river. The new river 
channel was made in the great flood of 1868. 
'What Stockton, Emory, Duvall and other 
American officers call the battle of the Plains 
of the Mesa the Californians call the battle of 
La Mesa, which is most decidedly a better name 
than the "Plains of the Plain." It was fought at 
a ravine, the Canada de Los Alisos, near the 
southeastern corner of the Los Angeles city 
boundary. In these battles the Californians had 
four pieces of artillery, two iron nine-pounders, 
the old woman's gun and the howitzer captured 
in mi Kearny. Their powder was very poor. It 
was made at San Gabriel. It was owing to this 
that they did so little execution in the fight. 
That the Californians escaped with so little 
punishment was probably due to the wretched 
marksmanship of Stockton's sailors and marines. 




J\ FTER the battle of La Mesa, the Amer- 
T V icans, keeping to the south, crossed the 
A Los Angeles river at about the point 

where the south boundary line of the city 
crosses it and camped on the right bank. Here, 
under a willow tree, those killed in battle were 
buried. Lieutenant Emory, in his "Notes of a 
.Military Reconnoissance," says: "The town, 
known to contain great quantities of wine and 
aguardiente, was four miles distant (four miles 
from the battlefield). From previous experience 
of the difficulty of controlling men when enter- 
ing towns, it was determined to cross the river 
San Fernando (Los Angeles), halt there for 
the night and enter the town in the morning, 
with the whole day before us. 

"After we had pitched our camp, the enemy 
came down from the hills, and four hundred 
horsemen with four pieces of artillery drew off 
towards the town, in order and regularity, whilst 
about sixty made a movement down the river on 
our rear and left flank. This led us to suppose 
they were not yet whipped, as we thought, and 
that we should have a night attack. 

"January 10 (1847) — . Just as we had raised 
our camp, a flag of truce, borne by Air. Celis, a 
Castilian; Mr. Workman, an Englishman, and 
Alvarado, the owner of the rancho at the Alisos, 
was brought into camp. They proposed, on 
behalf of the Californians, to surrender their 
dear City of the Angels provided we would re- 
spect property and persons. This was agreed 
to. but not altogether trusting to the honesty 
of General Flores, who had once broken his 
parole, we moved into the town in the same 
order we should have done if expecting an at- 
tack. It was a wise precaution, for the streets 
were full of desperate and drunken fellows, who 
brandished their arms and saluted us with every 
term of reproach. The crest, overlooking the 
town, in rifle range, was covered with horsemen 
engaged in the same hospitable manner. 

"Our men marched steadily on, until crossing 
the ravine leading into the public square (plaza), 
when a fight took place amongst the Califor- 
nians on the hill; one became disarmed and to 
avoid death rolled down the hill towards us, 
his adversary pursuing and lancing him in the 
most cold-blooded manner. The man tumbling 
down the hill was supposed to be one of our 
vaqueros, and the cry of 'rescue him' was 
raised. The crew of the Cyane, nearest the 
scene, at once and without any orders, halted 
and gave the man that was lancing him a volley; 
strange to say, he did not fall. The general 
gave the jack tars a cursing, not so much for 
the firing without orders, as for their bad marks- 

Shortly after the above episode, the Cali- 
fornians did open fire from the hill on the 
vaqueros in charge of the cattle. (These 
vaqueros were Californians in the employ of the 
Americans and were regarded by their country- 
men as traitors.) A company of riflemen was 
ordered to clear the hill. A single volley ef- 
fected this, killing two of the enemy. This was 
the last bloodshed in the war; and the second 
conquest of California was completed as the first 
had been by the capture of Los Angeles.. Two 
hundred men. with two pieces of artillery, were 
stationed on the hill. 

The Angelehos did not exactly welcome the 
invaders with "bloody hands to inhospitable 
graves," but they did their best to let them know 
they were not wanted. The better class of the 
native inhabitants closed their houses and took 
refuge with foreign residents or went to the 
ranchos of their friends in the country. The 
fellows of the baser sort, who were in pos- 
session of the city, exhausted their vocabularies 
of abuse on the invading gringos. There was 
1 ne paisano who excelled all his countrymen in 
this species of warfare. It is a pity his name 
has not been preserved in history with that of 



other famous scolds and kickers. He rode by 
the side of the advancing column up Main street, 
firing volleys of invective and denunciation at 
the hated gringos. At certain points of his 
tirade he worked himself to such a pitch of 
indignation that language failed him; then he 
would solemnly go through the motions of 
"Make ready, take aim!" with an old shotgun 
he carried, but when it came to the order "Fire!" 
discretion got the better of his valor; he low- 
ered his gun and began again, firing invective 
at the gringo soldiers; his mouth would go off 
if his gun would not. 

Commodore Stockton's headquarters were in 
the Abila house, the second house on Olvera 
street, north of the plaza. The building is still 
standing, but has undergone many changes in 
fifty years. A rather amusing account was re- 
cently given me by an old pioneer of the manner 
in which Commodore Stockton got possession 
of the house. The widow Abila and her daugh- 
ters, at the approach of the American army, had 
abandoned their house and taken refuge with 
Don Luis Yignes of the Aliso. Yignes was a 
Frenchman and friendly to both sides. The 
widow left a young Californian in charge of her 
house (which was finely furnished), with strict 
orders to keep it closed. Stockton had with him 
a fine brass band, something new in California. 
When the troops halted on the plaza, the band 
began to play. The boyish guardian of the 
Abila casa could not resist the temptation to 
open the door and look out. The enchanting 
music drew him to the plaza. Stockton and his 
staff, hunting for a place suitable for headquar- 
ters, passing by, found the door invitingly open, 
entered, and, finding the house deserted, took 
-ion. The recreant guardian returned to 
find himself dispossessed and the house in pos- 
-I ssion nf the enemy. "And the band played on." 

It is a fact not generall) known thai there 
were two forts planned and partially built on 
Fori Hill during the war for the conquesl of 
California. The firsl was planned by Lieut. Wil- 
liam H. Emory, topographical engineer of Gen- 
eral Kearny's staff, and work was begun on il 
by Commodore Stockton's sailors and marines. 
The second was planned by Lieut. J. W. David- 
of the First United States Dragoons, and 

built by the Mormon battalion. The first was 
not completed and not named. The second was 
named Fort Moore. Their location seems to 
have been identical. The first was designed to 
hold one hundred men. The second was much 
larger. Flores' army was supposed to be in the 
neighborhood of the city ready to make a dash 
into it, so Stockton decided to fortify. 

"On January nth," Lieutenant Emory writes, 
"I was ordered to select a site and place a fort 
capable of containing a hundred men. \\ ith 
this in view a rapid reconnoissance of the town 
was made and the plan of a fort sketched, so 
placed as to enable a small garrison to com- 
mand the town and the principal avenues to it. 
the plan was approved." 

"January 12. I laid off the work and before 
night broke the first ground. The population 
of the town and its dependencies is about three 
thousand; that of the town itself about fifteen 
hundred. * * * Here all the revolutions 
have had their origin, and it is the point upon 
which any Mexican force from Sonora would 
be directed. Tt was therefore desirable to estab- 
lish a fort which, in case of trouble, should en- 
able a small garrison to hold out till aid might 
come from San Diego, San Francisco or Mon- 
terey, places which are destined to become cen- 
ters of American settlements." 

"January 13. It rained steadily all day and 
nothing was done on the work. At night I 
worked on the details of the fort." 

"January 15. The details to work on the 
fort were by companies. I sent to Captain 
Tilghman, who commanded on the hill, to de- 
tach one of the companies under his command 
to commence the work. He furnished, on the 
16th, a company of artillery (seamen from the 
Congress) for the day's work, which was per- 
formed bravely, and gave me great hopes of 

On the iNth Lieutenant Emory took his de- 
parture with General Kearny for San Diego. 
From there he was sent with despatches, via 
Panama, to the war department. In his book 
he says: "Subsequent to my departure the en- 
tire plan of the Fori was changed, and I am not 
the projector of the work finally adopted for 
defense of that town." 


As previously stated, Fremont's battalion 
began its march down the coast on the 29th of 
November, 1846. The winter rains set in with 
great severity. The volunteers were scantily 
provided with clothing and the horses were in 
poor condition. Many of the horses died of 
starvation and hard usage. The battalion en- 
countered no opposition from the enemy on its 
march and did no fighting. On the nth of 
January, a few miles above San Fernando, Colo- 
nel Fremont received a message from General 
Kearny informing him of the defeat of the 
enemy and the capture of Los Angeles. That 
night the battalion encamped in the mission 
buildings at San Fernando. From the mission 
that evening Jesus Pico, a cousin of Gen. An- 
dres Pico, set out to find the Californian army 
and open negotiations with its leaders. Jesus 
Pico, better known as Tortoi, had been arrested 
at his home near San Luis Obispo, tried by 
court-martial and sentenced to be shot for 
breaking his parole. Fremont, moved by the 
pleadings of Pico's wife and children, pardoned 
him. He became a warm admirer and devoted 
friend of Fremont's. 

He found the advance guard of the Califor- 
nians encamped at Yerdugas. He was detained 
here, and the leading officers of the army were 
summoned to a council. Fico informed them 
of Fremont's arrival and the number of his men. 
With the combined forces of Fremont and 
Stockton against them, their cause was hopeless. 
He urged them to surrender to Fremont, as they 
could obtain better terms from him than from 

General Flores, who held a commission in the 
Mexican army, and who had been appointed by 
the territorial assembly governor and comand- 
ante-general by virtue of his rank, appointed 
Andres Pico general and gave him command 
of the army. The same night he took his de- 
parture for Mexico, by way of San Gorgonio 
Pass, accompanied by Colonel Garfias, Diego 
Sepulveda, Manuel Castro, Segura, and about 
thirty privates. General Pico, on assuming com- 
mand, appointed Francisco Rico and Francisco 
do La Guerra to go with Jesus Pico to confer 
with Colonel Fremont. Fremont appointed as 
commissioners to negotiate a treaty, Major P. 

I!. Reading, Major William II. Russell and 
Capt. Louis McLane. On the return of Guerra 
and Rico to the Californian camp, Gen. Andres 
Pico appointed as commissioners, Jose Antonio 
Carrillo, commander of the cavalry squadron, 
and Agustin Olvera, diputado of the assembly, 
and moved his army near the river at Cahuenga. 
On the 13th Fremont moved his camp to the 
Cahuenga. The commissioners met in the de- 
serted ranch-house, and the treaty was drawn 
up and signed. 

The principal conditions of the treaty or ca- 
pitulation of "Cahuenga," as it was termed, were 
that the Californians, on delivering up their ar- 
tillery and public arms, and promising not again 
to take arms during the war, and conforming 
to the laws and regulations of the United States, 
shall be allowed peaceably to return to their 
homes. They were to be allowed the same rights 
and privileges as are allowed to citizens of the 
United States, and were not to be compelled 
to take an oath of allegiance until a treat v of 
peace was signed between the United States and 
Mexico, and were given the privilege of leaving 
the country if they wished to. An additional 
section was added to the treaty on the 16th at 
Los Angeles releasing the officers from their 
paroles. Two cannon were surrendered, the 
howitzer captured from General Kearny at San 
Pasqual and the woman's gun that won the bat- 
tle of Dominguez. On the 14th, Fremont's bat- 
talion marched through the Cahuenga Pass to 
Los Angeles in a pouring rainstorm, and en- 
tered it four days after its surrender to Stock- 
ton. The conquest of California was com- 
pleted. Stockton approved the treaty, although 
it w-as not altogether satisfactory to him. On 
the 1 6th he appointed Colonel Fremont gov- 
ernor of the territory, and William II. Russell, 
of the battalion, secretary of state. 

This precipitated a quarrel between Stockton 
and Kearny, which had been brewing for 
time. General Kearny claimed that under his 
instructions from the government he should be 
recognized as governor. As he had directly under 
his command but the one company of drag 
that he brought across the plain with him, lie 
was unable to enforce his authority. lie left on 
(lie [8th for San DiegO, taking witli him his 



officers and dragoons. On the 20th Commo- join their ships. Shortly afterwards Commo- 
dore Stockton, with his sailors and marines, dore Stockton was superseded in the command 
marched to San Pedro, where they all em- of the Pacific squadron by Commodore Shu- 
barked on a man-of-war for San Diego to re- brick. 



THE capitulation of Gen. Andres Pico at 
Cahuenga put an end to the war in Cali- 
fornia. The instructions from the secre- 
tary of war were to pursue a policy of concilia- 
tion towards the Californians with the ultimate 
design of transforming them into American citi- 
zens. Colonel Fremont was left in command at 
Los Angeles. He established his headquarters 
on the second floor of the Bell block (corner of 
Los Angeles and Aliso streets), then the best 
building in the city. One company of his bat- 
talion was retained in the city; the others, under 
command of Captain Owens, were quartered at 
the Mission San Gabriel. 

The Mormons had been driven out of Illinois 
and Missouri. A sentiment of antagonism had 
been engendered against them and they had 
begun their migration to the far west, pre- 
sumably to California. They were encamped on 
the Missouri river at Kanesville, now Council 
Bluffs, preparatory to cross'ng the plains, when 
hostilities broke out between the United States 
and Mexico, in April, 1846. A proposition was 
made by President Polk to their leaders to raise 
a battalion of five hundred men to serve as 
United States volunteers for twelve months. 
These volunteers, under command of regular 
army officers, were to march to Santa Fe, or, 
if necessary, to California, where, at the expira- 
tion of their term of enlistment, they were to be 
discharged and allowed to retain their arms. 
Through the influence of Brigham Yottng and 
other leaders, the battalion was recruited and 
General Kearny, commanding the Army of the 
West, detailed Capt. James Allen, of the First 
United States Dragoons, to muster them into 
the service and take command of the battalion. 
On the if>th of July, at Council Bluffs, the bat- 

talion was mustered into service and on the 14th 
of August it began its long and weary march. 
About eighty women and children, wives and 
families of the officers and some of the enlisted 
men, accompanied the battalion on its march. 
Shortly after the beginning of the march, Allen, 
who had been promoted to lieutenant-colonel, 
fell sick and died. The battalion was placed 
temporarily under the command of Lieut. A. J. 
Smith, of the regular army. At Santa Fe 
Lieut.-Col. Philip St. George Cooke took com- 
mand under orders from General Kearny. The 
battalion was detailed to open a wagon road by 
the Gila route to California. About sixty of 
the soldiers who had become unfit for duty and 
all the women except five were sent back and 
the remainder of the force, after a toilsome jour- 
ney, reached San Luis Rev, Cal., January 29, 
1847, where it remained until ordered to Los 
Angeles, which place it reached March 17. 

Captain Owens, in command of Fremont's 
battalion, had moved all the artillery, ten pieces, 
from Los Angeles to San Gabriel, probably with 
the design of preventing it falling into the hands 
of Colonel Cooke, who was an adherent of 
General Kearny. General Kearny, under addi- 
tional instructions from the general government, 
brought by Colonel Mason from the war depart- 
ment, had established himself as governor at 
Monterey. With a governor in the north and 
one in the south, antagonistic to each other 
California had fallen back to its normal condi- 
tion under Mexican rule. Colonel Cooke, 
shortly after his arrival in the territory, thus de- 
scribes the condition prevailing: "General 
Kearny is supreme somewhere up the coast. 
Colonel Fremont is supreme at Pueblo de Los 
Angeles: Colonel Stockton is commander-in- 



chief at San Diego; Commodore Shubrick the 
same at Monterey ; and I at San Lnis Rev ; and 
we are all supremely poor, the government hav- 
ing no money and no credit, and we hold the 
territory because Mexico is the poorest of all." 

Col. R. B. Mason was appointed inspector of 
the troops in California and made an official 
visit to Los Angeles. In a misunderstanding 
about some official matters he used insulting 
language to Colonel Fremont. Fremont 
promptly challenged him to fight a duel. The 
challenge was accepted; double-barreled shot- 
guns were chosen as the weapons and the 
Rancho Rosa del Castillo as the place of meet- 
ing. Mason was summoned north and the duel 
was postponed until his return. General Kearny, 
hearing of the proposed affair of honor, put a 
stop to further proceedings by the duelists. 

Col. Philip St. G eor ge Cooke, of the Mormon 
battalion, was made commander of the military 
district of the south with headquarters at Los 
Angeles. Fremont's battalion was mustered out 
of service. The Mormon soldiers and the two 
companies of United States Dragoons who 
came with General Kearny were stationed at 
Los Angeles to do guard duty and prevent any 
uprising of the natives. 

Colonel Fremont's appointment as governor 
of California had never been recognized by 
General Kearny. So when the general had 
made himself supreme at Monterey he ordered 
Fremont to report to him at the capital and 
turn over the papers of his governorship. Fre- 
mont did so and passed out of office. He was 
nominally governor of the territory about two 
months. His appointment was made by Com- 
modore Stockton, but was never confirmed by 
the president or secretary of war. -His jurisdic- 
tion did not extend beyond Los Angeles. He 
left Los Angeles May 12 for Monterey. From 
that place, in company with General Kearny. 
on May 31, he took his departure for the states. 
The relations between the two were strained. 
While ostensibly traveling as one company, 
each officer, with his staff and escort, made sep- 
arate camps. At Fort Leavenworth General 
Kearny placed Fremont under arrest and pre- 
ferred charges against him for disobedience of 
orders. He was tried by court-martial at Wash- 

ington and was ably defended by his father-in- 
law, Colonel Benton, and his brother-in-law, 
William Carey Jones. The court found him 
guilty and fixed the penalty, dismissal from the 
service. President Polk remitted the penalty 
and ordered Colonel Fremont to resume his 
sword and report for duty. He did so, but 
shortly afterward resigned his commission and 
left the army. 

While Colonel Cooke was in command of 
the southern district rumors reached Los An- 
geles that the Mexican general, Bustamente, 
with a force of fifteen hundred men, was pre- 
paring to reconquer California. "Positive infor- 
mation," writes Colonel Cooke, under date of 
April 20, 1847, "has been received that the 
Mexican government has appropriated $600,000 
towards fitting out this force." It was also re- 
ported that cannon and military stores had been 
landed at San Vicente, in Lower California. 
Rumors of an approaching army came thick and 
fast. The natives were supposed to be in league 
with Bustamente and to be secretly preparing 
for an uprising. Precautions were taken against 
a surprise. A troop of cavalry was sent to 
Warner's ranch to patrol the Sonora road as 
far as the desert. The construction of a fort 
on the hill fully commanding the town, which 
had previously been determined upon, was 
begun and a company of infantry posted on 
the hill. 

On the 23d of April, three months after work 
had ceased on Emory's fort, the construction of 
the second fort was begun and pushed vigor- 
ously. Rumors continued to come of the ap- 
proach of the enemy. May 3, Colonel Cooke 
writes: "A report was received through the 
most available sources of information that Gen- 
eral Bustamente hail crossed the Gulf of Cali- 
fornia near its head, in boats of the pearl fishers, 
and at last information was at a rancho on the 
western road, seventy leagues below San 
Diego." Colonel Stevenson's regimenl of New 
York volunteers had recently arrived in Cali- 
fornia. Two companies of tin' regiment had 
been sent to Los Angeles and two to San 
Diego. The report that Colonel Cooke had re- 
ceived reinforcement and that ] les was 
being fortified was supposed to have frightened 



Bustamente into abandoning his invasion of 
California. Bustamente's invading army was 
largely the creation of somebody's fertile imag- 
ination. The scare, however, had the effect of 
hurrying up work on the fort. May 13, Colo- 
nel Cooke resigned and Col. J. B. Stevenson 
succeeded him in the command of the southern 
military district. 

Colonel Stevenson continued work on the 
fort and on the 1st of July work had progressed 
so far that he decided to dedicate and name it 
on the 4th. He issued an official order for the 
celebration of the anniversary of the birthday of 
American independence at this port, as he called 
Los Angeles. "At sunrise a Federal salute will 
be fired from the field work on the hill which 
commands this town and for the first time from 
this point the American standard will be dis- 
played. At 11 o'clock all the troops of the 
district, consisting of the Mormon battalion, the 
two companies of dragoons and two companies 
of the New York volunteers, were formed in a 
hollow square at the fort. The Declaration of 
Independence was read in English by Captain 
Stuart Taylor and in Spanish by Stephen C. 
Foster. The native Californians, seated on their 
horses in rear of the soldiers, listened to Don 
Esteban as he rolled out in sonorous Spanish the 
Declaration's arraignment of King George III., 
and smiled. They had probably never heard of 
King George or the Declaration of Independ- 
ence, either, but they knew a pronunciamiento 
when they heard it, and after a pronunciamiento 
in their governmental system came a revolution, 
therefore they smiled at the prospect of a gringo 
revolution. "At the close of this ceremony 
(reading of the Declaration) the field work will 
be dedicated and appropriately named; and at 
12 o'clock a national salute will be fired. The 
field work at this post having been planned and 
the work conducted entirely by Lieutenant Da- 
vidson of the First Dragoons, he is requested 
to hoist upon it for the first time on the morn- 
ing of the 4th the American standard." * * * 
The commander directs that from and after the 
4th instant the fort shall bear the name of 
Moure. Benjamin D. Moore, after whom the fort 
was named, was captain of Company A, First 
United States Dragoons. He was killed by a 

lance thrust in the disastrous charge at the bat- 
tle of San Pasqual. This fort was located on 
what is now called Fort Hill, near the geograph- 
ical center of Los Angeles. It was a breastwork 
about four hundred feet long with bastions and 
embrasures for cannon. The principal em- 
brasure commanded the church and the plaza, 
two places most likely to be the rallying points 
in a rebellion. It was built more for the sup- 
pression of a revolt than to resist an invasion. 
It was in a commanding position; two hundred 
men, about its capacity, could have defended it 
against a thousand if the attack came from the 
front; but as it was never completed, in an at- 
tack from the rear it could easily have been cap- 
tured with an equal force. 

Col. Richard B. Mason succeeded General 
Kearny as commander-in-chief of the troops 
and military governor of California. Col. Philip 
St. George Cooke resigned command of the 
military district of the south May 13, joined 
General Kearny at Monterey and went east 
with him. As previously stated, Col. J. D. Ste- 
venson, of the New York volunteers, succeeded 
him. His regiment, the First New York, but 
really the Seventh, had been recruited in the 
eastern part of the state of New York in the 
summer of 1846, for the double purpose of con- 
quest and colonization. The United States gov- 
ernment had no intention of giving up California 
once it was conquered, and therefore this regi- 
ment came to the coast well provided with pro- 
visions and implements of husbandry. It came 
to California via Cape Horn in three transports. 
The first ship, the Perkins, arrived at San 
Francisco, March 6, 1847; the second, the Drew, 
March 19; and the third, the Loo Choo, March 
26. Hostilities had ceased in California before 
their arrival. Two companies, A and B, under 
command of Lieutenant-Colonel Burton, were 
sent to Lower California, where they saw hard 
service and took part in several engagements. 
The other companies of the regiment were sent 
to different towns in Alta California to do gar- 
rison duty. 

Another military organization that reached 
California after the conquest was Company F 
ol the Third United States Artillery. It landed 
at Monterey January 28, 1847. It vvas com- 



manded by Capt. C. O. Thompkins. With 
it came Lieuts. E. O. C. Ord, William T. Sher- 
man and H. W. Halleck, all of whom became 
prominent in California affairs and attained na- 
tional reputation during the Civil war. The 
Mormon battalion was mustered out in July, 
1847. O ne company under command of Cap- 
tain Hunt re-enlisted. The others made their 
way to L T tah, where they joined their brethren 
who the year before had crossed the plains and 
founded the City of Salt Lake. The Xew York 
volunteers were discharged in August, 1848. 
After the treaty of peace, in 1848, four compa- 
nies of United States Dragoons, under com- 
mand of Major L. P. Graham, marched from 
Chihuahua, by way of Tucson, to California. 
Major Graham was the last military commander 
of the south. 

Commodore W. Branford Shubrick succeeded 
Commodore Stockton in command of the naval 
forces of the north Pacific coast. Jointly with 
General Kearny he issued a circular or proc- 
lamation to the people of California, printed in 
English and Spanish, setting forth "That the 
president of the United States, desirous to give 
and secure to the people of California a share 
of the good government and happy civil organ- 
ization enjoyed by the people of the United 
States, and to protect them at the same time 
from the attacks of foreign foes and from inter- 
nal commotions, has invested the undersigned 
with separate and distinct powers, civil and mil- 
itary; a cordial co-operation in the exercise of 
which, it is hoped and believed, will have the 
happy results desired. 

"To the commander-in-chief of the naval 
forces the president has assigned the regula- 
tion of the import trade, the conditions on which 
vessels of all nations, our own as well as foreign, 
may be admitted into the ports of the territory, 
and the establishment of all port regulations. 
To the commanding military officer the presi- 
dent has assigned the direction of the operations 
on land and has invested him with administra- 
tive functions of government over the people 
and territory occupied by the forces of the 
United States. 

"Done at Monterey, capital of California, this 
1st day of March, A. D. 1847. W. Branford 

Shubrick, commander-in-chief of the naval 
forces. S. W. Kearny, Brig.-Gen. United States 
Army, and Governor of California." 

Under the administration of Col. Richard B. 
Mason, the successor of General Kearny as 
military governor, the reconstruction, or, more 
appropriately, the transformation period began. 
The orders from the general government were 
to conciliate the people and to make no radical 
changes in the form of government. The Mex- 
ican laws were continued in force. Just what 
these laws were, it was difficult to find out. \<i 
code commissioner had codified the laws and it 
sometimes happened that the judge made the 
law to suit the case. Under the old regime the al- 
calde was often law-giver, judge, jury and exe- 
cutioner, all in one. Occasionally there was fric- 
tion between the military and civil powers, and 
there were rumors of insurrections and inva- 
sions, but nothing came of them. The Califor- 
nians, with easy good nature so characteristic 
of them, made the best of the situation. "A 
thousand things," says Judge Hays, "combined 
to smooth the asperities of war. Eremont had 
been courteous and gay: Mason was just and 
firm. The natural good temper of the popula- 
tion favored a speedy and perfect conciliation. 
The American officers at once found themselves 
happy in every circle. In suppers, balls, visiting 
in town and country, the hours glided away with 
pleasant reflections." 

There were, however, a few individuals who 
were not happy unless they could stir up dis- 
sensions and cause trouble. One of the chief of 
these was Serbulo Yarela, agitator and revolu- 
tionist. Yarela. for some offense not specified 
in the records, had been committed to prison by 
the second alcalde of Los Angeles. Colonel Ste- 
venson turned him out of jail, and Yarela gave 
the judge a tongue lashing in refuse Castilian. 
The judge's official dignity was hurt. He sent 
a communication to the ayuntamiento saying: 
"Owing to personal abuse which 1 received ai 
the hands of a private individual and from the 
present military commander, I tender my resig- 

The ayuntamiento senl a 1 immunii ation to 
Colonel Stevenson asking why he had turned 
Yarela out of jail and why he had insulted the 


judge. The colonel curtly replied that the mili- 
tary would not act as jailers over persons guilty 
of trifling offenses while the city had plenty of 
persons to do guard duty at the jail. As to the 
abuse of the judge, he was not aware that any 
abuse had been given, and would take no further 
notice of him unless he stated the nature of the 
insult offered him. The council decided to no- 
tify the governor of the outrage perpetrated by 
the military commander, and the second alcalde 
said since he could get no satisfaction for insults 
to his authority from the military despot, he 
would resign: but the council would not accept 
his resignation, so he refused to act, and the city 
had to worry along with one alcalde. 

Although foreigners had been coming to Cali- 
fornia ever since 1814, their numbers had not 
increased very rapidly. Nearly all of these had 
found their way there by sea. Those who had 
become permanent residents had married native 
Californian women and adopted the customs of 
the country. Capt. Jedediah S. Smith, in 1827, 
crossed the Sierra Nevada mountains from Cali- 
fornia and by way of the Humboldt, or, as he 
named it, the Mary River, had reached the Great 
Salt Lake. From there through the South Pass 
of the Rocky mountains the route had been 
traveled for several years by the fur trappers. 
This latter became the great emigrant route to 
California a few years later. A southern route 
by way of Santa Fe had been marked out and 
the Pattee party had found their way to the 
Colorado by the Gila route, but so far no emi- 
grant trains had come from the States to Cali- 
fornia with women and children. The first of 
these mixed trains was organized in western 
Missouri in May, 1841. The party consisted of 
sixty-nine persons, including men, women and 
children. This party divided at Soda Springs, 
half going to Oregon and the others keeping on 
their way to California. They reached the San 
Joaquin valley in November, 1841, after a toil- 
some journey of six months. The first settle- 
ment they found was Dr. Marsh's ranch in what 
is now called Contra Costa county. Marsh gave 
them a cordial reception at first, but afterwards 
11 e ited them meanly. 

Fourteen of the party started for the Pueblo 
de San Jose. At the Mission of San Jose, 

twelve miles from the Pueblo, they were all ar- 
rested by order of General Vallejo. One of the 
men was sent to Dr. Marsh to have him come 
forthwith and explain why an armed force of 
liis countn men were roaming around the coun- 
try without passports. Marsh secured their re- 
lease and passports for all the party. On his 
return home he charged the men who had re- 
mained at his ranch $5 each for a passport, al- 
though the passports had cost him nothing. As 
there was no money in the party, each had to 
put up some equivalent from his scanty posses- 
sions. Marsh had taken this course to reim- 
burse himself for the meal he had given the 
half-starved emigrants the first night of their 
arrival at his ranch. 

In marked contrast with the meanness of 
Marsh was the liberality of Captain Sutter. Sut- 
ter had built a fort at the junction of the Amer- 
ican river and the Sacramento in 1839 and had 
obtained extensive land grants. His fort was 
the frontier post for the overland emigration. 
Gen. John Bidwell, who came with the first 
emigrant train to California, in a description of 
"Life in California Before the Gold Discovery," 
says: "Nearly everybody who came to Califor- 
nia then made it a point to reach Sutter's Fort. 
Sutter was one of the most liberal and hospita- 
ble of men. Everybody was welcome, one man 
or a hundred, it was all the same." 

Another emigrant train, known as the Work- 
man-Rowland party, numbering forty-five per- 
sons, came from Santa Fe by the Gila route to 
Los Angeles. About twenty-five of this party- 
were persons who had arrived too late at West- 
port, Mo., to join the northern emigrant party, 
so they went with the annual caravan of St. 
Louis traders to Santa Fe and from there, with 
traders and trappers, continued their journey to 
California. From 1841 to the American con- 
quest immigrant trains came across the plains 
every year. 

One of the most noted of these, on account of 
the tragic fate that befell it. was the Donner 
party. The nucleus of this party, George and 
Jacob Donner and James K. Reed, with their 
families, started from Springfield, III, in the 
spring of 1846. By accretions and combinations, 
when it reached Fort Bridger, July 25, it had 



increased to eighty-seven persons — thirty-six 
men, twenty-one women and thirty children, 
under the command of George Dormer. A new 
route called the Hastings Cut-Off, had just been 
opened by Lansford W. Hastings. This route- 
passed to the south of Great Salt Lake and 
struck the old Fort Hall emigrant road on the 
Humboldt. It was claimed that the "cut-off" 
shortened the distance three hundred miles. 
The Donner party, by misrepresentations, were 
induced to take this route. The cut-off proved 
to be almost impassable. They started on the 
cut-off the last day of July, and it was the end 
of September when they struck the old emigrant 
trail on the Humboldt. They had lost most of 
their cattle and were nearly out of provisions. 
From this on, unmerciful disaster followed them 
fast and faster. In an altercation, Reed, one of 
the best men of the party, killed Snyder. He 
was banished from the train and compelled to 
leave his wife and children behind. An old 
Belgian named Hardcoop and Wolfinger, a 
German, unable to keep up, were abandoned to 
die on the road. Fikc was accidentally shot by 
Foster. The Indians stole a number of their 
cattle, and one calamity after another delayed 
them. In the latter part of October they had 
reached the Truckee. Here they encountered a 
heavy snow storm, which blocked all further 
progress. They wasted their strength in trying 
to ascend the mountains in the deep snow that 
had fallen. Finally, finding this impossible, they 
turned back and built cabins at a lake since 
known as Donner Lake, and prepared to pass 
the winter. Most of their oxen had strayed 
away during the storm and perished. Those 
still alive they killed and preserved the meat. 
A party of fifteen, ten men and five women, 

known as the "Forlorn Hope," started, Decem- 
ber 16, on snowshoes to cross the Sierras. They 
had provisions for six days, but the journey 
consumed thirty-two days. Eight of the ten 
men perished, and among them the noble Stan- 
ton, who hail brought relief to the emigrants 
from Sutter's Fort before the snows began to 
fall. The five women survived. Upon the ar- 
rival of the wretched survivors of the "Forlorn 
Hope," the terrible sufferings of the snow-bound 
immigrants were made known at Sutter's Fort, 
and the first relief party was organized, and on 
the 5th of February started for the lake. Seven 
of the thirteen who started succeeded in reach- 
ing the lake. On the 19th they started back 
with twenty-one of the immigrants, three of 
whom died on the way. A second relief, under 
Reed and McCutchen, was organized. Reed 
had gone to Yerba Buena to seek assistance. A 
public meeting was called and $1,500 subscribed. 
The second relief started from Johnston's 
Ranch, the nearest point to the mountains, on 
the 23d of February and reached the camp on 
.March 1st. They brought out seventeen. Two 
others were organized and reached Donner 
Lake, the last on the 17th of April. The only 
survivor then was Keseburg, a German, who 
was hated by all the company. There was a 
strong suspicion that he had killed Mrs. Don- 
ner. who had refused to leave her husband (who 
was too weak to travel) with the previous relief. 
There were threats of hanging him. Keseburg 
had saved his life by eating the bodies of the 
e'ead. Of the original party of eighty-seven, a 
total of thirty-nine perished from starvation. 
Most of the survivors were compelled to resort 
to cannabalism. They were not to blame if they 




Ul'i )N the departure of General Kearny, 
.May 31, 1847, Col. Richard D. Mason 
became governor and commander-in- 
chief of the United States forces in California 
by order of the president. Stockton, Kearny 
and Fremont had taken their departure, the 
dissensions that had existed since the conquest 
of the territory among the conquerors ceased, 
and peace reigned. 

There were reports of Mexican invasions and 
suspicions of secret plottings against gringo 
rule, but the invaders came not and the plottings 
never produced even the mildest form of a Mexi- 
can revolution. Mexican laws were adminis- 
tered for the most part by military officers. The 
municipal authorities were encouraged to con- 
tinue in power and perform their governmental 
functions, but they were indifferent and some- 
times rebelled. Under Mexican rule there was 
no trial by jury. The alcalde acted as judge 
and in criminal cases a council of war settled the 
fate of the criminal. The Rev. Walter Colton, 
while acting as alcalde of Monterey, in 1846-47, 
impaneled the first jury ever summoned in Cali- 
fornia. "The plaintiff and defendant," he writes, 
"are among the principal citizens of the country. 
The case was one involving property on the one 
side and integrity of character on the other. Its 
merits had been pretty widely discussed, and 
had called forth an unusual interest. One-third 
of tlie jury were Mexicans, one-third Califor- 
nians and the other third Americans. This mix- 
ture may have the bitter answered the ends of 
justice, but I was apprehensive at one time it 
would embarrass the proceedings; for the plaint- 
iff spoke in English, the defendant in French; 
the jury, save the Americans, Spanish, and the 
witnesses, all the languages known to California. 
By the tact of Mr. Hartnell, who acted as inter- 
prel r, and tin- absence of young lawyers, we 
got along very well. 

"The examination of witnesses lasted five or 
six hours. I then gave the case to the jury, 
stating the questions of fact upon which they 
were to render their verdict. They retired for 
an hour and then returned, when the foreman 
handed in their verdict, which was clear and 
explicit, though the case itself was rather com- 
plicated. To this verdict both parties bowed 
without a word of dissent. The inhabitants who 
witnessed the trial said it was what they liked, 
that there could be no bribery in it, that the 
opinion of twelve honest men should set the 
case forever at rest. And so it did, though 
neither party completely triumphed in the issue. 
One recovered his property, which had been 
taken from him by mistake, the other his char- 
acter, which had been slandered by design." 

The process of Americanizing the people was 
no easy undertaking. The population of the 
country and its laws were in a chaotic condition. 
It was an arduous task that Colonel Mason and 
the military commanders at the various pueblos 
had to perform, that of evolving order out of 
the chaos that had been brought about by the 
change in nations. The native population 
neither understood the language nor the cus- 
toms of their new rules, and the newcomers 
among the Americans had very little toleration 
for the slow-going Mexican ways and methods 
they found prevailing. To keep peace between 
the factions required more tact than knowledge 
of law, military or civil, in the commanders. 

Los Angeles, under Mexican domination, hail 
been the storm center of revolutions, and here 
under the new regime the most difficulty was 
encountered in transforming the quondam rev- 
olutionists into law-abiding and peaceful Amer- 
ican citizens. The ayuntamiento was convened 
in 1S47, after the conquest, and continued in 
power until the close of the vear. When the 
time came round for the election of a new ayun- 



tamiento there was trouble. Stephen C. Foster, 
Colonel Stevenson's interpreter, submitted a 
paper to the council stating that the govern- 
ment had authorized him to get up a register of 
voters. The ayuntamiento voted to return the 
paper just as it was received. Then the colonel 
made a demand of the council to assist Stephen 
in compiling a register of voters. Regidor Cha- 
vez took the floor and said such a register 
should not be gotten up under the auspices of 
the military, but, since the government had so 
disposed, thereby outraging this honorable 
body, no attention should be paid to said com- 
munication. But the council decided that the 
matter did not amount to much, so they granted 
the request, much to the disgust of Chavez. 
The election was held and a new ayuntamiento 
elected. At the last meeting of the old council, 
December 29, 1847, Colonel Stevenson ad- 
dressed a note to it requesting that Stephen C. 
Foster be recognized as first alcalde and judge 
of the first instance. The council decided to 
turn the whole business over to its successor, to 
deal with as it sees fit. 

Colonel Stevenson's request was made in ac- 
cordance with the wish of Governor Mason 
that a part of the civil offices be filled by Amer- 
icans. The new ayuntamiento resented the in- 
terference. How the matter terminated is best 
told in Stephen C. Foster's own words: "Colo- 
nel Stevenson was determined to have our in- 
auguration done in style. So on the day ap- 
pointed, January 1, 1848, he. together with 
myself and colleague, escorted by a guard of 
soldiers, proceeded from the colonel's quarters 
to the alcalde's office. There we found the re- 
tiring ayuntamiento and the new one awaiting 
our arrival. The oath of office was adminis- 
tered by the retiring first alcalde. We knelt to 
take the oath, when we found tiny had changed 
their minds, and the alcalde told us that if two 
of their number were to be kicked out they 
would all go. So they all marched out and left 
us in possession. Here was a dilemma, but 
Colonel Stevenson was equal to the emergency. 
He said he could give us a swear as well as the 
alcalde. So we stood up and he administered 
to us an oath to support the constitution of 
the United States and administer justice in ac- 

cordance with Mexican law. I then knew as 
much about Mexican law as I did about Chinese, 
and my colleague knew as much as I did. Guer- 
rero gathered up the books that pertained to his 
office and took them to his house, where he 
established his office, and I took the archives 
and records across the street to a house I had 
rented, and there I was duly installed for the 
next seventeen months, the first American al- 
calde and carpet-bagger in Los Angeles." 

Colonel Stevenson issued a call for the elec- 
tion of a new ayuntamiento, but the people 
stayed at home and no votes were cast. At the 
close of the year the voters had gotten over 
their pet and when a call was made a council 
was elected, but only Californians (hijos del 
pais) were returned. The ayuntamientos con- 
tinued to be the governing power in the pueblos 
until superseded by city and county govern- 
ments in 1850. 

The most difficult problem that General Kear- 
ny in his short term had to confront and, un- 
solved, he handed down to his successor. Colo- 
nel Mason, was the authority and jurisdiction 
of the alcaldes. Under the Mexican regime 
these officers were supreme in the pueblo over 
which they ruled. For the Spanish transgressor 
fines of various degrees were the usual penalty; 
for the mission neophyte, the lash, well laid on, 
and labor in the chain gang. There was no 
written code that defined the amount of pun- 
ishment, the alcalde meted out justice and some- 
times injustice, as suited his humor. Kearny 
appointed John H. Nash alcalde of Sonoma. 
Nash was a somewhat erratic individual, who 
had taken part in the Bear Flag revolution. 
When the offices of the prospective Pacific Re- 
public were divided among the revolutionists, 
he was to be the chief justice. After the col- 
lapse of that short-lived republic. Nash was 
elected alcalde. His rule was so arbitrary and 
his decisions so biased by favoritism or preju- 
dice that the American settlers soon protested 
and General Kearny removed him or tried to. 
He appointed L. W. Boggs, a recently arrived 
immigrant, to the office. Mash refused to sur- 
render the books and papers oi the office. Lieut. 
W. T. Sherman was detailed by Colonel Mason, 
after his succession ' >l governor, to 



proceed to Sonoma ami arrest Nash. Sherman 
quietly arrested him at night and before the 
bellicose alcalde's friends (for he had quite a fol- 
lowing) were aware of what was going on, 
marched him off to San Francisco. He was 
put on board the Dale and sent to Monterey. 
Finding that it was useless for him to resist the 
authority of the United States, its army and 
navy as well, Nash expressed his willingness to 
submit to the inevitable, and surrendered his 
office. He was released and ceased from troub- 
ling. Another strenuous alcalde was William 
Blackburn, of Santa Cruz. He came to the 
country in 1845, and before his elevation to the 
honorable position of a judge of the first in- 
stance he had been engaged in making shingles 
in the redwoods. He had no knowledge of law 
and but little acquaintance with books of any 
kind. His decisions were always on the side of 
justice, although some of the penalties imposed 
were somewhat irregular. 

In Alcalde Blackburn's docket for August 14, 
1847, appears this entry: "Pedro Gomez was 
tried for the murder of his wife, Barbara Gomez, 
and found guilty. The sentence of the court is 
that the prisoner be conducted. back to prison, 
there to remain until Monday, the 16th of Au- 
gust, and then be taken out and shot." August 
17. sentence carried into effect on the 16th ac- 
cordingly. William Blackburn, Alcalde. 

It does not appear in the records that Black- 
burn was the executioner. He proceeded to 
dispose of the two orphaned children of the 
murderer. The older daughtei he indentured to 
Jacinto Castro "to raise until she is twenty-one 
years of age, unless sooner married, said Ja- 
cinto Castro, obligating himself to give her a 
good education, three cows and calves at her 
marriage or when of age." The younger daugh- 
ter was disposed of on similar terms to A. Rod- 
riguez. Colonel Mason severely reprimanded 
Blackburn, but the alcalde replied that there 
was no use making a fuss river it; the man was 
guilty, he had a fair trial before a jury and de- 
served to die. Another case in his court illus- 
trates the versatility of the judge. A Spanish 
boy, out of revenge, sheared the mane and tail 
of a neighbor's horse. The offense was proved, 

but the judge uas sorely perplexed when he 
came to sentence the culprit. He could find no 
law in his law books to fit the case. After pon- 
dering over the question a while, he gave this 
decision: "I find no law in any of the statutes 
to fit this case, except in the law of Moses, 'An 
eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." Let the 
prisoner be taken out in front of this office and 
there sheared close." The sentence was imme- 
diately executed. 

Another story is told of Blackburn, which 
may or may not be true. A mission Indian who 
had committed murder took the right of sanc- 
tuary in the church, and the padre refused to 
give him up. Blackburn wrote to the governor, 
slating the case. The Indian, considering him- 
self safe while with the padre, left the church 
in company with the priest. Blackburn seized 
him, tried him and hung him. He then reported 
to the governor: "I received your order to sus- 
pend the execution of the condemned man, but 
I had hung him. When I see you I will ex- 
plain the affair." 

Some of the military commanders of the pre- 
sidios and pueblos gave Governor Mason as 
much trouble as the alcaldes. These, for the 
most part, were officers of the volunteers who 
had arrived after the conquest. They were un- 
used to "war's alarms," and. being new to 
the country and ignorant of the Spanish lan- 
guage, they regarded the natives with suspicion. 
They were on the lookout for plots and revolu- 
tions. Sometimes they found these incubating 
and undertook to crush them, only to discover 
that the affair was a hoax or a practical joke. 
The Canon Perdido (lost canon) of Santa Bar- 
bara episode is a good illustration of the 
trouble one "finicky" man can make when en- 
trusted with military power. 

In the winter of 1847-48 the American bark 
Elisabeth was wrecked on the Santa Barbara 
coast. Among the flotsam of the wreck was a 
brass cannon of uncertain calibre: it might have 
been a six. a nine or a twelve pounder. What 
the capacity of its bore matters not, for the gun 
unloaded made more noise in Santa Barbara 
than it ever did when it belched forth shot and 
shell in battle. The gun. after its rescue from 
a watery grave, lay for some time on the beach, 


devoid of carriage and useless, apparently, for 
offense or defense. 

One dark night a little squad of native Cali- 
fornians stole down to the beach, loaded the 
gun in an ox cart, hauled it to the estero and 
hid it in the sands. What was their object in 
taking the gun no one knows. Perhaps they 
did not know themselves. It might come handy 
in a revolution, or maybe they only intended to 
play a practical joke on the gringos. Whatever 
their object, the outcome of their prank must 
have astonished them. There was a company 
(F) of Stevenson's New York volunteers sta- 
tioned at Santa Barbara, under command of 
Captain Lippett. Lippett was a fussy, nervous 
individual who lost his head when anything un- 
usual occurred. In the theft of the cannon he 
thought he had discovered a California revolu- 
tion in the formative stages, and he determined 
to crush it in its infancy. He sent post haste a 
courier to Governor Mason at Monterey, in- 
forming him of the prospective uprising of the 
natives and the possible destruction of the 
troops at Santa Barbara by the terrible gun the 
enemy had stolen. 

Colonel Mason, relying on Captain Lippett's 
report, determined to give the natives a lesson 
that would teach them to let guns and revolu- 
tions alone. He issued an order from headquar- 
ters at Monterey, in which he said that ample 
time having been allowed for the return of the 
gun, and the citizens having failed to produce 
it, he ordered that the town be laid under a con- 
tribution of $500, assessed in the following man- 
ner: A capitation tax of $2 on all males over 
twenty years of age; the balance to be paid by 
the heads of families and property-holders in the 
proportion of the value of their respective real 
and personal estate in the town of Santa Bar- 
bara and vicinity. Col. J. D. Stevenson was ap- 
pointed to direct the appraisement of the prop- 
erty and the collection of the assessment. If 
any failed to pay his capitation, enough of his 
property was to be seized and sold to pay his 
enforced contribution. 

The promulgation of the order at Santa Bar- 
bara raised a storm of indignation at the old 
pueblo. Colonel Stevenson came up from Los 
Angeles and had an interview with Don Pablo 

de La Guerra, a leading citizen of Santa Bar- 
bara. Don Pablo was wrathfully indignant at 
the insult put upon his people, but after talking 
over the affair with Colonel Stevenson, he be- 
came somewhat mollified. He invited Colonel 
Stevenson to make Santa Barbara his headquar- 
ters and inquired about the brass band at the 
lower pueblo. Stevenson took the hint and or- 
dered up the band from Los Angeles. July 4th 
had been fixed upon as the day for the payment 
of the fines, doubtless with the idea of giving 
the Californians a little celebration that would 
remind them hereafter of Liberty's natal day. 
Colonel Stevenson contrived to have the band 
reach Santa Barbara on the night of the 3d. 
The band astonished Don Pablo and his family 
with a serenade. The Don was so delighted 
that he hugged the colonel in the most approved 
style. The band serenaded all the Dons of note 
in town and tooted until long after midnight, 
then started in next morning and kept it up 
till ten o'clock, the time set for each man to con- 
tribute his "dos pesos" to the common fund. 
By that time every hombre on the list was so 
filled with wine, music and patriotism that the 
greater portion of the fine was handed over 
without protest. The day closed with a grand 
hall. The beauty and the chivalry of Santa Bar- 
bara danced to the music of a gringo brass 
hand and the brass cannon for the nonce was 

But the memory of the city's ransom rankled, 
and although an American band played Spanish 
airs, American injustice was still remembered. 
When the city's survey was made in 1850 the 
nomenclature of three streets, Canon Perdidd 
(Lost Cannon street), Ouinientos (Five Hun- 
dred street) and Mason street kept the cannon 
episode green in the memory of the Barbareiios. 
When the pueblo, b) legislative act. became a 
ciudad, the municipal authorities selected this 
device for a seal: In the center a cannon em- 
blazoned, encircled with these words. Vale 
Ouinientos IVsos — Worth $500, or, more liber- 
ally translated. <i 1-bye, $500. which, b) the 

way. as the sequel of the story will show, is the 
better translation. This seal was used from the 
incorporation of the cit) in [850 to i860, when 
another design was chosen. 



Alter peace was declared, Colonel .Mason sent 
the $500 to the prefect at Santa Barbara, with 
instructions to use it in building a city jail; and 
although there was pressing need for a jail, the 
jail was not built. The prefect's needs were 
pressing, too. Several years passed; then the 
city council demanded that the prefect turn the 
money into the city treasury. He replied that 
the money was entrusted to him for a specific 
purpose, and he would trust no city treasurer 
with it. The fact was that long before he had 
lost it in a game of monte. 

Ten years passed, and the episode of the lost 
cannon was but a dimly remembered story of 
the olden time. The old gun reposed peacefully 
in its grave of sand and those who buried it 
had forgotten the place of its interment. One 
stormy night in December, 1858, the estero 
(creek) cut a new channel to the ocean. In 
the morning, as some Barbarenos were survey- 
ing the changes caused by the flood, they saw 
the muzzle of a large gun protruding from the 
cut in the bank. They unearthed it. cleaned off 
the sand and discovered that it was El Canon 
Perdido, the lost cannon. It was hauled up 
State street to Canon Perdido, where it was 
mounted on an improvised carriage. But the 
sight of it was a reminder of an unpleasant in- 
cident. The finders sold it to a merchant for 
S80. He shipped it to San Francisco and sold 
it at a handsome profit for old brass. 

Governor Pio Pico returned from Mexico to 
California, arriving at San Gabriel July 17, 1848. 
Although the treaty of peace between the 
United States and Mexico had been signed and 
proclaimed, the news had not reached Califor- 
nia. Pico, from San Fernando, addressed let- 
ters to Colonel Stevenson at Los Angeles and 
Governor Mason at Monterey, stating that as 
Mexican governor of California he had come 
back to the country with the object of carrying 
out the armistice which then existed between 
the United States and Mexico. He further 
stated that he had no desire to impede the es- 
tablishment of peace between the two countries; 
and that he wished to see the Mexicans and 
Vmericans treat each other in a spirit of frater- 
nity. Mason did not like Pico's assumption of 
the title of Mexican governor of California, al- 

though it is not probable that Pico intended to 
assert any claim to his former position. Gov- 
ernor Mason sent a special courier to Los An- 
geles with orders to Colonel Stevenson to 
arrest the ex-governor, who was then at his 
Santa Margarita rancho, and send him to Mon- 
terey, but the news of the ratification of the 
treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo reached Los An- 
geles before the arrest was made, and Pico was 
spared this humiliation. 

The treaty of peace between the United States 
and Mexico was signed at Guadalupe Hidalgo, 
a hamlet a few miles from the City of Mexico, 
February 2, 1848; ratifications were exchanged 
at Queretaro, May 30 following, and a procla- 
mation that peace had been established between 
the two countries was published July 4, 1848. 
Under this treaty the United States assumed the 
payment of the claims of American citizens 
against Mexico, and paid, in addition, $15,000,- 
000 to Mexico for Texas, New Mexico and 
Alta California. Out of what was the Mexican 
territory of Alta California there has been 
carved all of California, all of Nevada, Utah and 
Arizona and part of Colorado and Wyoming. 
The territory acquired by the treaty of Guada- 
lupe Hidalgo was nearly equal to the aggre- 
gated area of the thirteen original states at the 
time of the Revolutionary war. 

The news of the treaty of peace reached Cali- 
fornia August 6, 1848. On the 7th Governor 
Mason issued a proclamation announcing the 
ratification of the treaty. He announced that 
all residents of California, who wished to be- 
come citizens of the United States, were ab- 
solved from their allegiance to Mexico. Those 
who desired to retain their Mexican citizenship 
could do so, provided they signified such inten- 
tion within one year from May 30, 1848. Those 
who wished to go to Mexico were at liberty to 
do so without passports. Six months before, 
Governor Mason had issued a proclamation pro- 
hibiting any citizen of Sonora from entering 
California except on official business, and then 
otfly under flag of truce. He also required all 
Sonorans in the country to report themselves 
either at Los Angeles or Monterey. 

The war was over; and the treaty of peace 
had made all who so elected, native or foreign 


born, American citizens. Strict military rule 
was relaxed and the people henceforth were to 
be self-governing. American and Californian 
were one people and were to enjoy the same 
rights and to be subject to the same penalties. 
The war ended, the troops were no longer 
needed. Orders were issued to muster out the 
volunteers. These all belonged to Stevenson's 
New York regiment. The last company of the 
Mormon battalion had been discharged in April. 

1 he New York volunteers were scattered all 
along the coast from Sonoma to Cape St. Lucas, 
doing garrison duty. They were collected at 
different points and mustered out. Although 
those stationed in Alta California had done 
no fighting, they had performed arduous serv- 
ice in keeping peace in the conquered territory. 
Most of them remained in California after their 
discharge and rendered a good account of them- 
selves as citizens. 



SEBASTIAN VISCAINO, from the bay of 
Monterey, writing to the King of Spain 
three hundred years ago, says of the In- 
dians of California: "They are well acquainted 
with gold and silver, and said that these were 
found in the interior." Viscaino was endeavor- 
ing to make a good impression on the mind of 
the king in regard to his discoveries, and the 
remark about the existence of gold and silver 
in California was thrown to excite the cupidity 
of his Catholic majesty. The traditions of the 
existence of gold in California before any was 
discovered are legion. Most of these have been 
evolved since gold was actually found. Col. J. 
J. Warner, a pioneer of 183 1, in his Historical 
Sketch of Los Angeles County, briefly and very 
effectually disposes of these rumored discov- 
eries. He says: "While statements respecting 
the existence of gold in the earth of California 
and its procurement therefrom have been made 
and published as historical facts, carrying back 
the date of the knowledge of the auriferous 
character of this state as far as the time of the 
visit of Sir Francis Drake to this coast, there is 
no evidence to be found in the written or oral 
history of the missions, the acts and correspond- 
ence of the civil or military officers, or in the 
unwritten and traditional history of Upper ( ali- 
Fornia that the existence of gold, either with 
ores or in its virgin state, was ever suspected 
by any inhabitant of California previous to 1841, 
and. furthermore, there is conclusive testimonj 

that the first known grain of native gold dust 
was found upon or near the San Francisco ranch, 
about forty-five miles north-westerly from Los 
Angeles City, in the month of June, 1841. This 
discovery consisted of grain gold fields (known 
as placer mines), and the auriferous fields dis- 
covered in that year embraced the greater part 
of the country drained by the Santa Clara river 
from a point some fifteen or twenty miles from 
its mouth to its source, and easterly beyond 
Mount San Bernardino." 

The story of the discovery as told by Warner 
and by Don Abel Stearns agrees in the main 
facts, but differing materially in the date. Stearns 
says gold was first discovered by Francisci 1 
Lopez, a native of California, in the month of 
March, 1842, at a place called San Francisquito, 
about thirty-five miles northwest from this city 
(Los Angeles). The circumstances of the dis- 
covery bv Lopez, as related by himself, are as 
follows: "Lopez, with a companion, was out in 
search of some stray horses, and about midday 
they stopped under some trees and tied their 
horses out to feed, they resting under the shade, 
when Lopez, with his sheath-knife, dug up some 
wild onions, and in the dirt discovered a piece 
of sold. and. searching further. 
more. He brought these to town, and showed 
them to his friends, who at ..nee declared there 
must be a placer of sold. This news being cir- 
culated, numbers of the citizens went to the 
place, and commenced prospecting in the neigh- 



borhood, and found it to be a fact that there was 
a placer of gold." 

Colonel Warner says: "The news of this dis- 
covery soon spread among the inhabitants from 
Santa Barbara to Los Angeles, and in a few 
weeks hundreds of people were engaged in 
washing and winnowing the sands and earth of 
these gold fields." 

Warner visited the mines a few weeks after 
their discovery. He says: "From these mines 
was obtained the first parcel of California gold 
dust received at the United States mint in Phila- 
delphia, and which was sent with Alfred Robin- 
son, and went in a merchant ship around Cape 
Horn." This shipment of gold was 18.34 ounces 
before and 18.1 ounces after melting; fineness, 
.925; value, $344.75, or over $19 to the ounce. 
a very superior quality of gold dust. It was 
deposited 111 the mint July 8, 1843. 

It may be regarded as a settled historical fact 
that the first authenticated discovery of gold 
in Alta California was made on the San Fran- 
cisco rancho in the San Feliciano Canon, Los 
Angeles county. This canon is about ten miles 
northwest of Newhall station on the Southern 
Pacific railroad, and about forty miles northwest 
of Los Angeles. 

The date of the discovery is in doubt. A peti- 
tion to the governor (Alvarado) asking permis- 
sion to work the placers, signed by Francisco 
Lopez, Manuel Cota and Domingo Bermudez is 
on file in the California archives. It recites: 
"That as Divine Providence was pleased to give 
us a placer of gold on the gth of last March in 
the locality of San Francisco rancho, that be- 
longs to the late Don Antonio del Yalle." This 
petition fixes the day of the month the discovery 
was made, but unfortunately omits all other 
dates. The evidence is about equally divided 
between the years 1841 and 1842. 

It is impossible to obtain definite information 
in regard to the yield of the San Fernando 
placers, as these mines are generally called. 
William Heath Davis, in his "Sixty Years in 
California," states that from $80,000 to $100,000 
was taken out for the fiist two years after their 
discovery. He says that Melius at one time 
shipped $5,000 of dusi i.n the ship Alert. Ban- 
croft says: "That by December, 1S43. two thou- 

sand ounces of gold had been taken from the 
San Fernando mines." Don Antonio Coronel 
informed the author that he, with the assistance 
of three Indian laborers, in 1842, took out $600 
worth of dust in two months. De Mofras, in his 
book, states that Carios Baric, a Frenchman, in 
1842, was obtaining an ounce a day of pure gold 
from his placer. 

These mines were worked continuously from 
the time of their discovery until the American 
conquest, principally by Sonorians. The dis- 
covery of gold at Coloma, January 24, 1848, 
drew away the miners, and no work was done 
on these mines between 1848 and 1854. After 
the latter dates work was resumed, and in 1855, 
Francisco Garcia, working a gang of Indians, 
is reported to have taken out $65,000 in one 
season. The mines are not exhausted, but the 
scarcity of water prevents working them profit- 

It is rather a singular coincidence that the 
exact dates of both the first and second authen- 
ticated discoveries of gold in California are still 
among the undecided questions of history. In 
the first, we know the day but not the year; in 
the second, we know the year but not the day 
of the month on which Marshall picked up the 
first nuggets in the nnllrace at Coloma. For a 
number of years after the anniversary of Mar- 
shall's discovery began to be observed the 19th 
of January was celebrated. Of late years Jan- 
uary _'4 has been fixed upon as the correct date, 
hut the Associated Pioneers of the Territorial 
Days of California, an association made up of 
men who were in the territory at the time of 
Marshall's discovery or came hero before it 
became a state, object to the change. For nearly 
thirty years they have held their annual dinners 
on January 18, "the anniversary of the discovery 
of gold at Sutter's sawmill, Coloma, Cal." This 
society has its headquarters in Xew York City. 
In a circular recently issued, disapproving of 
the change of date from the 18th to the 24th, the 
trustees of that society say: "Upon the organi- 
zation of this society, February 11, 1875, it was 
decided to hold its annual dinners on the anni- 
versary of the discovery of gold at Sutter's saw- 
mill, Coloma, Cal. Through the Hon. Newton 
i ',00th, of the United States. Senate, this infor- 


mation was sought, with the result ot a commu- 
nication from the secretary of the state of Cali- 
fornia to the effect 'that the archives of the 
state of California recorded the date as of Jan- 
uary 1 8, 1848. Some years ago this date was 
changed by the society at San Francisco to that 
of January 24, and that date has been adopted 
by other similar societies located upon the 
Pacific and Atlantic coasts. This society took 
the matter under advisement, with the result 
that the new evidence upon which it was pro- 
posed to change the date was not deemed suffi- 
cient to justify this society in ignoring its past 
records, founded on the authority of the state 
of California; therefore it has never accepted 
the new date." 

Marshall himself was uncertain about the 
exact date. At various times he gave three 
different dates — the iSth, igth and 20th, but 
never moved it along as far as the 24th. In the 
past thirty years three different dates — the [8th, 
19th and 24th of January — have been celebrated 
as the anniversary of Marshall's gold dis- 

The evidence upon which the date was changed 
to the 24th is found in an entry in a diary kept 
by II. \Y. Bigler, a Mormon, who was working 
for Marshall on the millrace at the time gold 
was discovered. The entry reads: "January 24. 
This day some kind of metal that looks like 
goold was found in the tailrace." On this 
authority about ten years ago the California 
Pioneers adopted the 24th as the correct date 
of Marshall's discovery. 

While written records, especially if made at 
the time of the occurrence of the event, are 
more reliable than oral testimony given long 
after, yet when we take into consideration the 
conflicting stories of Sutter, Marshall, the Win- 
ners and others who were immediatel) con- 
cerned in some way with the discovery, we must 
concede that the Territorial Pioneers have good 
reasons to hesitate about making a change in 
the date of their anniversary. In Dr. Trywhitt 
Brook's "Four Months Among the Cold Find- 
ers," a book published in London in 184c). and 
long since out of print, we have Sutter's version 
of Marshall's discovery given only three months 
after that discoverv was made. Dr. Brooks 

visited Sutter's Fort early in May, 1848, and 
received from Sutter himself the story ot the 
find. Sutter stated that he was sitting in his 
room at the fort, one afternoon, when Marshall, 
whom he supposed to be at the mill, forty miles 
up the American river, suddenly burst in upon 
him. Marshall was so wildly excited that Sutter, 
suspecting that he was crazy, looked to see 
whether his rifle was in reach. Marshall declared 
that he had made a discovery that would give 
them both millions and millions of dollars. Then 
he drew his sack and poured out a handful of 
nuggets on the table. Sutter, when he had 
tested the metal and found that it was gold, 
became almost as excited as Marshall. He 
eagerly asked if the workmen at the mill knew 
of the discovery. Marshall declared that he had 
not spoken to a single person about it. They 
both agreed to keep it secret. Xext day Sutter 
and Marshall arrived at the sawmill. The day 
after their arrival, they prospected the bars of 
the river and the channels of some of the dry 
creeks and found gold in all. 

"On our return to the mill," says Sutter, "we 
were astonished by the work-people coming up 
to us in a body and showing us some flakes 1 >f 
gold similar to those we had ourselves procured. 
Marshall tried to laugh the matter off with them, 
and to persuade them that what they had found 
was only some shining mineral of trifling value; 
but one of the Indians, who had worked at a 
gold mine in the neighborhood of La Paz. 
Lower California, cried out: 'Oral Oral' (gold! 
gold!), and the secret was out." 

Captain Sutter continues: "I heard afterward 
that one of them, a sly Kentuckian, had dogged 
us about and, that, looking on the ground to see 
if he could discover what we were in search ot, 
he lighted on some of the flakes himself." 

If this account is correct. Bigler's entry in 
hi- diary was made on the day that the workmen 
found gold, which was live or six days after 
Marshall's first find, and consequently the 24th 
is that much too late [or the true date of the 
discoverv. The story of the discovery given in 
the "Life and Adventures of James W. Mar- 
shall." by George Frederick Parsons, differs 
materially from Sutter's account. The d 
the discovery given in that book is January 10, 

1 58 


1848. On the morning of that day Marshall, 
after shutting off the water, walked down the 
tailrace to see what sand and gravel had been 
removed during the night. (The water was 
turned into the tailrace during the night to cut 
it deeper.) While examining a mass of debris, 
"his eve caught the glitter of something that lay 
lodged in a crevice on a riffle of soft granite 
some six inches under water." Picking up the 
nugget and examining it, he became satisfied 
that it must be one of three substances — mica. 
sulphurets of copper, or gold. Its weight satis- 
fied him that it was not mica. Knowing that 
gold was malleable, he placed the specimen on 
a flat rock and struck it with another; it bent. 
but did not crack or break. He was satisfied 
that it was gold. lie showed the nugget to his 
men. In the course of a few days he had col- 
lected several ounces of precious metal. "Some 
four days after the discovery it became necessary 
for him to go below, for Sutter had failed to 
send a supply of provisions to the mill, and the 
men were on short commons. While on his way 
down he discovered gold in a ravine at a place 
afterwards known as Mormon island. Arrived 
at the fort, he interviewed Sutter in his private 
office and showed him about three ounces of 
gold nuggets. Sutter did not believe it to be 
gold, but after weighing it in scales against ? v V-25 
worth of silver, all the coin they could raise at 
the fort, and testing it with nitric acid obtained 
from the gun shop, Sutter became convinced and 
returned to the mill with Marshall. So little did 
the workmen at the mill value the discovery that 
they continued to work for Sutter until the mill 
was completed, March 11, six weeks after the 
nuggets were found in the tailrace. 

The news of the discovery spread slowly. It was 
two months in reaching San Francisco, although 
the distance is not over one hundred and twenty- 
five miles. The great rush to the mines from 
San Francisco did nut begin until the middle of 
May, nearly four months after the discovery. < m 
the iotli of May, Dr. Brooks, who was in San 
Francisco, writes: "A number of people have ac- 
tually started off with shovels, mattocks and 
pans to dig the gold themselves. It is not likely, 
however, that this will be allowed, fur Captain 
Folsom has already written to Colonel VTason 

about taking possession of the mine on behalf of 
the government,it being, he says, on public land." 

As the people began to realize the richness 
and extent of the discovery, the excitement in- 
creased rapidly. May 17. Dr. Brooks writes: 
"This place (San Francisco) is now in a perfect 
furore of excitement: all the workpeople have 
struck. Walking through the town to-day, I 
observed that laborers were employed only upon 
about half a dozen of the fifty new buildings 
which were in course of being run up. The 
majority of the mechanics at this place are mak- 
ing preparations for moving off to the mines, 
and several people of all classes — lawyers, store- 
keepers, merchants, etc., are smitten with the 
fever; in fact, there is a regular gold mania 
springing up. I counted no less than eighteen 
houses which were closed, the owners having 
left. If Colonel Alason is moving a force to 
the American Fork, as is reported here, their 
journey will be in vain." 

Colonel Mason's soldiers moved without 
orders — they nearly all deserted, and ran off to 
the mines. 

The first newspaper announcement of the 
discovery appeared in The Californian of March 
15, [848, nearly two months after the discovery. 
But little attention was paid to it. In the issue 
of April 19, another discovery is reported. The 
item reads: "New gold mine. It is stated that 
a new gold mine has been discovered on the 
American Fork of the Sacramento, supposed to 
be on the land of W. A. Leidesdorff. of this 
place. A specimen of the gold has been ex- 
hibited, and is represented to be very pure." 
On the 29th of May, The Californian had sus- 
pended publication. "Othello's occupation is 
gone," wails the editor. "The majority of our 
subscribers and many of our advertising patrons 
have closed their doors and places of business 
and left town, and we have received one order 
after another conveying the pleasant request that 
the printer will please stop my paper or my ad, 
as I am about leaving for Sacramento." 

The editor of the other paper, The California 
Slav, made a pilgrimage to the mines in the lat- 
ter part of April, but gave them no extended 
write-up. "Great country, fine climate," he wrote 
on his return. "Full flowing streams, mighty 



timber, large crops, luxuriant clover, fragrant 
flowers, gold and silver," were his comments on 
what he saw. The policy of both papers seems 
to have been to ignore as much as possible the 
gold discovery. To give it publicity was for a 
time, at least, to lose their occupation. 

In The Star of May 20, 1848, its eccentric 
editor, E. C. Kemble, under the caption "El 
Dorado Anew," discourses in a dubious manner 
upon the effects of the discovery and the extent 
of the gold fields: "A terrible visitant we have 
had of late. A fever which has well-nigh de- 
populated a town, a town hard pressing upon a 
thousand souls, and but for the gracious inter- 
position of the elements, perhaps not a goose 
would have been spared to furnish a quill to pen 
the melancholy fate of the remainder. It has 
preyed upon defenseless old age, subdued the 
elasticity of careless youth and attacked indis- 
criminately sex and class, from town councilman 
to tow-frocked cartman, from tailor to tippler, 
of which, thank its pestilential powers, it has 
beneficially drained (of tipplers, we mean) every 
villainous pulperia in the place. 

"And this is the gold fever, the only form of 
that popular southerner, yellow jack, with which 
we can be alarmingly threatened. The insatiate 
maw of the monster, not appeased by the easy 
conquest of the rough-fisted yeomanry of the 
north, must needs ravage a healthy, prosperous 
place beyond his dominion and turn the town 
topsy-turvy in a twinkling. 

"A fleet of launches left this place on Sunday 
and Monday last bound up the Sacramento river, 
close stowed with human beings, led by love of 
filthy lucre to the perennial yielding gold mines 
of the north. When any man can find two ounces 
a day and two thousand men can find their 
hands full, of work, was there ever anything so 
superlatively silly! 

"Honestly, though, we are inclined to believe 
the reputed wealth of that section of country, 
thirty miles in extent, all sham, a superb take-in 
as was ever got up to guzzle the gullible. But 
it is not improbable that this mine, or, properly, 
placer of gold can be traced as far south as tin- 
city of Los Angeles, where the precious metal 
has been found for a number of years in the bed 
of a stream issuing from its mountains, said 

to be a continuation of this gold chain which 
courses southward from the base of the snowy 
mountains. But our best information respecting 
the metal and the quantity in which it is gath- 
ered varies much from many reports current, yet 
it is beyond a question that no richer mines of 
gold have ever been discovered upon this con- 

"Should there be no paper forthcoming on 
Saturday next, our readers may assure them- 
selves it will not be the fault of us individually. 
To make the matter public, already our devil has 
rebelled, our pressman (poor fellow) last seen 
was in search of a pickaxe, and we feel like Mr. 
Hamlet, we shall never again look upon the 
likes of him. Then, too, our compositors have, 
in defiance, sworn terrible oaths against tvpe- 
sticking as vulgar and unfashionable. Hope has 
not yet fled us, but really, in the phraseology 
of the day, 'things is getting curious.' " 

And things kept getting more and more curi- 
ous. The rush increased. The next issue of 
The Star (May 2j) announces that the Sacra- 
mento, a first-class craft, left here Thursday last 
thronged with passengers for the gold mines, 
a motley assemblage, composed of lawyers, mer- 
chants, grocers, carpenters, cartmen and cooks, 
all possessed with the desire of becoming rich. 
The latest accounts from the gold country are 
highly flattering. Over three hundred men are 
engaged in washing gold, and numbers are con- 
tinually arriving from every part of the country. 
Then the editor closes with a wail: "Persons 
recently arrived from the country speak of 
ranches deserted and crops neglected and suf- 
fered to waste. The unhappy consequence of 
this state of affairs is easily foreseen. One more 
twinkle, and The Star disappeared in the gloom. 
On June 14 appeared a single sheet, the size of 
foolscap. The editor announced: "In fewer 
words than are usually employed in the an- 
nouncement of similar events, we appear before 
the remnant of a reading community on this 
occasion with the material or immaterial in- 
formation that we have stopped the paper, that 
its publication ceased with the last regular issue 
(June 7). On the appi nun, we shall 

again appear to announce Tlie Star's redivus. 
We have done. Let our parting word be hasto 


luego." (Star and Calif omian reappeared No- 
vember 14, 1848. The Star had absorbed The 
California^ L. C. Kemble was its editor and 

Although there was no paper in existence on 
the coast to spread the news from the gold 
fields, it found its way out of California, and 
the rush from abroad began. It did not acquire 
great force in 1848, but in 1849 the immigration 
to California exceeded all previous migrations 
in the history of the race. 

Among the first foreigners to rush to the 
mines were the Mexicans of Sonora. Many of 
these had had some experience in placer mining 
in their native country, and the report of rich 
placers in California, where gold could be had 
for the picking up, aroused them from their lazy 
self-content and stimulated them to go in search 
of it. Traveling in squads of from fifty to one 
hundred, they came by the old Auza trail across 
the Colorado desert, through the San Gorgonio 
Pass, then up the coast and on to the mines. 
They were a job lot of immigrants, poor in purse 
and poor in brain. They were despised by the 
native Californians and maltreated by the Amer- 
icans. Their knowledge of mining came in play, 
and the more provident among them soon man- 
aged to pick up a few thousand dollars, and then 
returned to their homes, plutocrats. The im- 
provident gambled away their earnings and re- 
mained in the country to add to its criminal ele- 
ment. The Oregonians came in force, and all 
the towns in California were almost depopulated 
of their male population. By the close of 1848, 
there were ten thousand men at work in the 

The first official report of the discovery was 
sent to Washington by Thomas O. Larkin, June 
1, and reached its destination about the middle 
of September. Lieutenant P.eale, by way of 
Mexico, brought dispatches dated a month later, 
which arrived about the same time as Larkin's 
report. These accounts were published in the 
eastern papers, and the excitement began. 

In the early part of December, Lieutenant 
Loeser arrived at Washington with Governor 
Mason's report of his observations in the mines 
made in August. But the most positive evidence 
was a tea caddy of gold dust containing about 

two hundred and thirty ounces that Governor 
Mason had caused to be purchased in the mines 
with money from the civil service fund. This the 
lieutenant had brought with him. It was placed 
on exhibition at the war office. Here was tan- 
gible evidence of the existence of gold in Cali- 
fornia, the doubters were silenced and the ex- 
citement was on and the rush began. 

By the 1st of January, 1849, vessels were fit- 
ting out in every seaport on the Atlantic coast 
and the Gulf of Mexico. Sixty ships were an- 
nounced to sail from Xew York in February and 
seventy from Philadelphia and Boston. All kinds 
of crafts were pressed into the service, some to 
go by way of Cape Horn, others to land their 
passengers at Vera Cruz, Nicaragua and Pana- 
ma, the voyagers to take their chances on the 
Pacific side for a passage on some unknown 
vessel. ' 

With opening of spring, the overland travel 
began. Forty thousand men gathered at differ- 
ent points on the Missouri river, but principally 
at St. Joseph and Independence. Horses, mules, 
oxen and cows were used for the propelling 
power of the various forms of vehicles that were 
to convey the provisions and other impedimenta 
of the army of gold seekers. By the 1st of May 
the grass was grown enough on the plains to 
furnish feed for the stock, and the vanguard of 
the grand army of gold hunters started. For 
two months, company after company left the 
rendezvous and joined the procession until for 
one thousand miles there was an almost un- 
broken line of wagons and pack trains. The 
first half of the journey was made with little 
inconvenience, but on the last part there was 
great suffering and loss of life. The cholera 
broke out among them, and it is estimated that 
five thousand died on the plains. The alkali 
desert of the Humboldt was the place where the 
immigrants suffered most. Exhausted by the 
l«mg journey and weakened by lack of food, 
many succumbed under the hardship of the des- 
1 it journey and died. The crossing of the Sierras 
was attended with great hardships. From the 
loss of their horses and oxen, many were com- 
pelled to cross the mountains on foot. Their 
provisions exhausted, they would have perished 
but for relief sent out from California. The 


greatest sufferers were the woman and children, 
who in considerable numbers made the perilous 

The overland immigration of 1850 exceeded 
that of 1849. According to record kept at Fort 
Laramie, there passed that station during the 
season thirty-nine thousand men, two thousand 
five hundred women and six hundred children, 
making a total of forty-two thousand one hun- 
dred persons. These immigrants had with them 
when passing Fort Laramie twenty-three thou- 
sand horses, eight thousand mules, three thou- 
sand six hundred oxen, seven thousand cows 
and nine thousand wagons. 

Besides those coming by the northern route, 
that is by the South Pass and the Humboldt 
river, at least ten thousand found their way to 
the land of gold by the old Spanish trail, by the 
Gila route and by Texas, Coahuila and Chihua- 
hua into Arizona, and thence across the Colo- 
rado desert to Los Angeles, and from there by 
the coast route or the San Joaquin valley to the 

The Pacific Mail Steamship Company had 
been organized before the discovery of gold in 
California. March 3, 1847, an act °f Congress 
was passed authorizing the secretary of the navy 
to advertise for bids to carry the United States 
mails by one line of steamers between New 
York and Chagres, and by another line between 
Panama and Astoria, Ore. On the Atlantic side 
the contract called for five ships of one thousand 
five hundred tons burden, on the Pacific side two 
of one thousand tons each, and one of six hun- 
dred tons. These were deemed sufficient for the 
trade and travel between the Atlantic and Pacific 
coasts of the United States. The Pacific Mail 
Steamship Company was incorporated April 12. 
1848, with a capital stock of $500,000. October 
6, 1848, the California, the first steamer for the 
Pacific, sailed from New York, and was followed 
in the two succeeding months by the Oregon 
and the Panama. The California sailed before 
the news of the gold discovery had reached New- 
York, and she had taken no passengers. When 
she arrived at Panama, January 30, 1849, she 
encountered a rush of fifteen hundred gold hunt- 
ers, clamorous for a passage. These had reached 
Chagres on sailing vessels, and ascended the 

Chagres river in bongos or dugouts to Gor- 
gona, and from thence by land to Panama. The 
California had accommodations for only one 
hundred, but four hundred managed to find 
some place to stow themselves away. The price 
of tickets rose to a fabulous sum, as high as 
$1,000 having been paid for a steerage passage. 
The California entered the bay of San Francisco 
February 28, [849, and was greeted by the boom 
of cannon and the cheers of thousands of people 
'lining the shores of the bay. The other two 
steamers arrived on time, and the Pacific Mail 
Steamship Company became the predominant 
factor in California travel for twenty years, or up 
to the completion of the first transcontinental 
railroad in 1869. The charges for fare on these 
steamers in the early '50s were prohibitory to 
men of small means. From New York to 
Chagres in the saloon the fare was $150. 111 the 
cabin $120. From Panama to San Francisco in 
the saloon, $250; cabin, $200. Add to these the 
expense of crossing the isthmus, and the argo- 
naut was out a goodly sum when he reached the 
land of the golden fleece, indeed, he was often 
fleeced of his last dollar before he entered the 
Golden Gate. 

The first effect of the gold discovery on San 
Francisco, as we have seen, was to depopulate 
it, and of necessity suspend all building opera- 
tions. In less than three months the reaction 
began, and the city experienced one of the most 
magical booms in history. Real estate doubled 
in some instances in twenty-four hours. The 
California}! of September 3, 1848, says: "Flu- 
vacant lot on the corner of Montgomery and 
Washington streets was offered the day previous 
for $5,000 and next day sold readily for $10,000." 
Lumber went up in value until it was sold at a 
dollar per square font. Wages kept pace with 
the general advance. Sixteen dollars a day was 
mechanic's wages, and the labor market was not 
overstocked even at these high rates. With the 
approach of winter, the gold - ekers came dock- 
ing back to the city to find 
their suddenly acquired wealth. The latti 
easily accomplished, but the former was more 
difficult. Any kind of a shelter that would keep 
out the rain was utilized for a dwelling. Rows 
of tents that circled around the business por- 



tion, shanties patched together from pieces of 
packing boxes and sheds thatched with brush 
from the chaparral-covered hills constituted 
the principal dwellings at that time of the future 
metropolis of California. The yield of the mines 
for 1848 has been estimated at ten million 
dollars. This was the result of only a few 
months' labor of not to exceed at any time ten 
thousand men. The rush of miners did not 
reach the mines until July, and mining opera- 
tions were mainly suspended by the middle of 

New discoveries had followed in quick suc- 
cession Marshall's find at Coloma until by the 
close of 1848 gold placers had been located on 
all the principal tributaries of the Sacramento 
and San Joaquin rivers. Some of the richest 
yields were obtained from what was known as 
"Dry Diggins." These were dry ravines from 
which pay dirt had to be packed to water for 
washing or the gold separated by dry washing, 
tossing the earth into the air until it was 
blown away by the wind, the gold, on account 
of its weight, remaining in the pan. 

A correspondent of the Calif ornian, writing- 
August 15, 1848, from what he designates as 
"Dry Diggins," gives this account of the rich- 
ness of that gold field: "At the lower mines 
(Mormon Island) the miners count the success 
of the day in dollars; at the upper mines near 
the mill (Coloma), in ounces, and here in 
pounds. The only instrument used at first was 
a butcher knife, and the demand for that ar- 
ticle was so great that $40 has been refused 
for one. 

"The earth is taken out of the ravines which 
make out of the mountains and is carried in 
wagons or packed on horses from one to three 
miles to water and washed. Four hundred dol- 
lars is the average to the cart load. In one in- 
stance five loads yielded $16,000. Instances are 
known here where men have carried the earth 
on their backs and collected from $800 to $1,500 
a day." 

The rapidity with which the country was ex- 
plored by prospectors was truly remarkable. 
The editor of the California)!, who had sus- 
pended the publication of his paper on May 29 
to visit the mines, returned and resumed it on 
July 15 (1848). In an editorial in that issue he 
gives his observations: "The country from the 
Ajuba (Yuba) to the San Joaquin rivers, a dis- 
tance of one hundred and twenty miles, and 
from the base toward the summit of the moun- 
tains as lar as Snow Hill, about seventy miles, 
has been explored, and gold found in every 
part. There are probably three thousand men, 
including Indians, engaged in collecting gold. 
The amount collected by each man who w^orks 
ranges from $10 to $350 per day. The publisher 
of this paper, while on a tour alone to the min- 
ing district, collected, with the aid of a shovel, 
pick and pan, from $44 to $128 a day, averag- 
ing about $100. The largest piece of gold 
known to be found weighed four pounds." 
Among other remarkable yields the Calif ornian 
reports these: "One man dug $12,000 in six 
clays, and three others obtained thirty-six 
pounds of pure metal in one day." 



COL. R. B. MASON, who had been 
the military governor of California since 
the departure of General Kearny in 
May. 1847. had grown weary of his task. He 
had been in the military service of his country 
thirty years and wished to be relieved. His 
request was granted, and on the 12th of April. 
[849, Brevel Brigadier General Bennett Riley, 

his successor, arrived at Monterey and the next 
day entered upon his duties as civil governor. 
Gen. Persifer F. Smith, who had been appointed 
commander of the Pacific division of the United 
States army, arrived at San Francisco Febru- 
ary 2<i. 1849, and relieved Colonel Mason of 
his- military command. A brigade of troops 
six hundred and fifty Strong had been sent to 



California for military service on the border 
and to maintain order. Most of these promptly 
deserted as soon as an opportunity offered and 
found their way to the mines. 

Colonel Mason, who under the most trying- 
circumstances had faithfully served his govern- 
ment and administered justice to the people of 
California, took his departure May i, [849. 
The same year he died at St. Louis of cholera. 
A year had passed since the treaty of peace 
with Mexico had been signed, which made Cali- 
fornia United States territory, but Congress 
had done nothing toward giving it a govern-, 
ment. The anomalous condition existed of citi- 
zens of the United States, living in the United 
States, being governed by Mexican laws admin- 
istered by a mixed constituency of Mexican- 
born and American-born officials. The pro- 
slavery element in Congress was determined to 
foist the curse of human slavery on a portion 
of the territory acquired from Mexico, but the 
discovery of gold and the consequent rush of 
freemen to the territory had disarranged the 
plans of the slave-holding faction in Congress, 
and as a consequence all legislation was at a 

The people were becoming restive at the long 
delay. The Americanized Mexican laws and 
forms of government were unpopular and it 
was humiliating to the conqueror to be gov- 
erned by the laws of the people conquered. 
The question of calling a convention to form a 
provisional government was agitated by the 
newspapers and met a hearty response from the 
people. Meetings were held at San Jose, De- 
cember 11, 1848; at San Francisco, December 
21, and at Sacramento, January 6, 1849, to 
consider the question of establishing a pro- 
visional government. It was recommended by 
the San Jose meeting that a convention be held 
at that place on the second Alonday of January. 
The San Francisco convention recommended 
the 5th of March; this the Monterey committee 
considered too early as it would take the dele- 
gates from below fifteen days to reach the pu- 
eblo of San Jose. There was no regular mail 
and the roads in February (when the delegates 
would have to start) were impassable. ["he 
committee recommended May 1 as the earliest 

date for the meeting to consider the question of 
calling of a convention. Sonoma, without wait- 
ing, took the initiative and elected ten delegates 
to a provisional government convention. There 
was no unanimity in regard to the time of meet- 
ting or as to what could be done if the conven- 
tion met. It was finally agreed to postpone the 
time of meeting to the first Monday of August, 
when, if Congress had done nothing towards 
giving California some form of government bet- 
ter than that existing, the convention should 
meet and organize a provisional government. 

The local government of San Francisco had 
become so entangled and mixed up by various 
councils that it was doubtful whether it had 
any legal legislative body. When the term of 
the first council, which had been authorized 
by Colonel Mason in 1848, was about to ex- 
pire an election was held December 27 . to 
choose their successors. Seven new council- 
men were chosen. The old council declared 
the election fraudulent and ordered a new one. 
An election was held, notwithstanding the pro- 
test of a number of the best citizens, and an- 
other council chosen. So the city was blessed 
or cursed with three separate and distincl coun- 
cils. The old council voted itself out of ex- 
istence and then there were but two, but that 
was one too many. Then the people, disgusted 
with the condition of affairs, called a public 
meeting, at which it was decided to elect a 
legislative assembly of fifteen members, who 
should be empowered to make the necessary 
laws for the government of the city. An election 
was held on the 21st of February, 1849, and a 
legislative assembly and justices elected. Then 
Alcalde Leyenworth refused to turn over the 
city records to the Chief Magistrate-elecl Nor- 
ton. On the 22d of .March the legislative as- 
sembly abolished the office of alcalde, but 
Levenworth still held on to the records. He 
was finally compelled by public opinion and a 
writ of replevin to surrender the official n 
to Judge Norton. The confusion constantly 
arising from thi i\ em- 

inent that was semi-military and semi-Mexican 
induced Governor Rile) to order an election to 
be held August tst, to eleel delegates to a 
convention to meet in Monterey Septembi 


1849, to form a state constitution or territorial 
organization to be ratified by the people and 
submitted to Congress for its approval. Judges, 
prefects and alcaldes were to be elected at the 
same time in the principal municipal districts. 
The constitutional convention was to consist of 
thirty-seven delegates, apportioned as follows: 
San Diego two, Los Angeles four, Santa Bar- 
bara two, San Luis Obispo two, Monterey five, 
San Jose" five, San Francisco five, Sonoma four, 
Sacramento four, and San Joaquin four. In- 
stead of thirty-seven delegates as provided for 
in the call, forty-eight were elected and seated. 

The convention met September 1, 1849, at 
Monterey in Colton Hall. This was a stone 
building erected by Alcalde Walter Colton for 
a town hall and school house. The money to 
build it was derived partly from fines and partly 
from subscriptions, the prisoners doing the 
greater part of the work. It was the most 
commodious public building at that time in the 

Of the forty-eight delegates elected twenty- 
two were natives of the northern states; fifteen 
of the slave states; four were of foreign birth, 
and seven were native Californians. Several of 
the latter neither spoke nor understood the 
English language and William E. P. Hartnell 
was appointed interpreter. Dr. Robert Semple 
of Bear Flag fame was elected president, Will- 
iam G. Marcy and J. Ross Browne reporters. 

Early in the session the slavery question was 
disposed of by the adoption of a section declar- 
ing that neither slavery or involuntary servitude, 
unless for the punishment of crimes, shall ever 
be tolerated in this state. The question of fix- 
ing the boundaries of the future state excited 
the most discussion. The pro-slavery faction 
was led by William M. Gwin, who had a few 
months before migrated from Tennessee to 
California with the avowed purpose of repre- 
senting the new state in the United States sen- 
ate. The scheme of Gwin and his southern as- 
sociates was to make the Rocky mountains the 
i astern boundary. This would create a state 
with an era of about four hundred thousand 
square miles. They reasoned that when the 
admission of the state came before congress the 
southern members would oppose the admission 

of so large an area under a free state constitu- 
tion and that ultimately a compromise might 
be effected. California would be split in two 
from east to west, the old dividing line, the 
parallel of 36 30', would be established and 
Southern California come into the Union as a 
slave state. There were at that time fifteen 
free and fifteen slave states. If two states, one 
free and one slave, could be made out of Califor- 
nia, the equilibrium between the opposing fac- 
tions would be maintained. The Rocky moun- 
tain boundary was at one time during the ses- 
sion adopted, but in the closing days of the 
session the free state men discovered Gwin's 
scheme and it was defeated. The present boun- 
daries were established by a majority of two. 

A committee had been appointed to receive 
propositions and designs for a state seal. Only 
one design was offered. It was presented by 
Caleb Lyon of Lyondale, as he usually signed 
his name, but was drawn by Major Robert S. 
Garnett, an army officer. It contained a figure 
of Minerva in the foreground, a grizzly bear 
feeding on a bunch of grapes; a miner with an 
uplifted pick; a gold rocker and pan; a view of 
the Golden Gate with ships riding at anchor 
in the Bay of San Francisco; the peaks of the 
Sierra Nevadas in the distance; a sheaf of wheat ; 
thirty-one stars and above all the word 
"Eureka" (I have found it), which might apply 
either to the miner or the bear. The design 
seems to have been an attempt to advertise the 
resources of the state. General Vallejo wanted 
the bear taken out of the design, or if allowed 
to remain, that he be made fast by a lasso in the 
hands of a vaquero. This amendment was re- 
jected, as was also one submitted by O. M. 
Wozencraft to strike out the figures of the gold 
digger and the bear and introduce instead bales 
of merchandise and bags of gold. The original 
design was adopted with the addition of the 
words, "The Great Seal of the State of Califor- 
nia." The convention voted to give Lyon $1,000 
as full compensation for engraving the seal and 
furnishing the press and all appendages. 

Garnett, the designer of the seal, was a Vir- 
ginian by birth. He graduated from West 
Point in 1841, served through the Mexican war 
and through several of the Indian wars on the 



Pacific coast. At the breaking out of the re- 
bellion in 1861 he joined the Confederates and 
was made a brigadier general. He was killed 
at the battle of Carrick's Ford July 15, 1S61. 

The constitution was completed on the nth 
of October and an election was called by Gov- 
ernor Riley to be held on the 13th of November 
to vote upon the adoption of the constitution 
and to elect state officers, a legislature and mem- 
bers of congress. 

At the election Peter H. Burnett, recently 
from Oregon territory, who had been quite 
active in urging the organization of a state gov- 
ernment, was chosen governor; John McDou- 
gall, lieutenant governor, and George W. 
Wright and Edward Gilbert members of con- 
gress. San Jose had been designated by the 
constitutional convention the capital of the state 
pro tern. 

The people of San Jose had pledged them- 
selves to provide a suitable building for the 
meeting of the legislature in hopes that their 
town might be made the permanent capital. 
They were unable to complete the building de- 
signed for a state capital in time for the meet- 
ing. The uncomfortable quarters furnished 
created a great deal of dissatisfaction. The leg- 
islature consisted of sixteen senators and thirty- 
six assemblymen. There being no county or- 
ganization, the members were elected by 
districts. The representation was not equally 
distributed; San Joaquin district had more sen- 
ators than San Francisco. The senate and as- 
sembly were organized on the 17th of Decem- 
ber. E. K. Chamberlain of San Diego was 
elected president pro tern, of the senate and 
Thomas J. White of Sacramento speaker of the 
assembly. The governor and lieutenant-gov- 
ernor were sworn in on the 20th. The state 
government being organized the legislature 
proceeded to the election of United States sen- 
ators. The candidates were T. Butler King, 
John C. Fremont, William M. Gwin, Thomas 
J. Henly, John W. Geary, Robert Semple and 
H. W. Halleck. Fremont received twenty-nine 
out of forty-six votes on the first ballot and was 
declared elected. Of the aspirants, T. Butler 
King and William M. Gwin represented the 
ultra pro-slavery element. King was a cross- 

roads politician from down in Georgia, who 
had been sent to the coast as a confidential 
agent of the government. The officers of the 
arm)- and navy were enjoined to "in all matters 
aid and assist him in carrying out the views of 
the government and be guided by his advice and 
council in the conduct of all proper measures 
within the scope of those instructions." He 
made a tour of the mines, accompanied by Gen- 
eral Smith and his staff; Commodore Ap Catesby 
Jones and staff and a cavalry escort under Lieu- 
tenant Stoneman. He wore a black stovepipe 
hat and a dress coat. He made himself the 
laughing stock of the miners and by traveling 
in the heat of the day contracted a fever that 
very nearly terminated his existence. He had 
been active so far as his influence went in trying 
to bring California into the Union with the hope 
of representing it in the senate. Gwin had 
come a few months before from Mississippi with 
the same object in view. Although the free 
state men were in the majority in the legislature 
they recognized the fact that to elect two sena- 
tors opposed to the extension of slavery would 
result in arraying the pro-slavery faction in con- 
gress against the admission of the state into 
the Union. Of the two representatives of the 
south, Gwin was the least objectionable and on 
the second ballot he was elected. On the 
21 st Governor Burnett delivered his message. 
It was a wordy document, but not marked by 
any very brilliant ideas or valuable suggestions. 
Burnett was a southerner from Missouri. Fie 
was hobbied on the subject of the exclusion of 
free negroes. The African, free to earn his own 
living unrestrained by a master, was, in his 
opinion, a menace to the perpetuity of the com- 

On the 22d the legislature elected the remain- 
ing state officers, viz.: Richard Roman, treas- 
urer; John I. Houston, controller; E. J. I'. 
Kewen, attorney general; Charles J. Whiting, 
surveyor-general; S. C. Hastings, chief jus- 
tice; Henry Lyons and Nathaniel Bennett, as- 
sociate justices. The legislature continued in 
session until April 22. 1850. Although it was 
nicknamed the "Legislature of a thousand 
drinks. - ' it did a vast amount of work and did 
most of it well. It was not made up of hard 



drinkers. The majority of its members were 
above the average legislator in intelligence, 
temperance and patriotism. The members were 
not there for pay or for political preferment. They 
were there for thegood oftheir adopted state and 
labored conscientiously for its benefit. The op- 
probrious nickname is said to have originated 
thus: A roystering individual by the name of 
Green had been elected to the senate from Sac- 
ramento as a joke. He regarded the whole pro- 
ceedings as a huge joke. He kept a supply of 
liquors on hand at his quarters and when the 
legislature adjourned he was in the habit of call- 
in-: "Come, boys, let us take a thousand 

The state had set up housekeeping without a 
cent on hand to defray expenses. There was not 
a quire of paper, a pen, nor an inkstand belong- 
ing to the state and no money to buy supplies. 
After wrestling with the financial problem some 
time an act authorizing a loan of $200,000 for 
current expenses was passed. Later on in the 
session another act was passed authorizing the 
bonding of the state for $300,000 with interest 
at the rate of three per cent a month. The 
legislature divided the state into twenty-seven 
counties, created nine judicial districts, passed 
laws for the collection of revenue, taxing all 
real and personal property and imposing a poll 
tax of $5 on all male inhabitants over twen- 
ty-one and under fifty years of age. 

California was a self-constituted state. It 
had organized a state government and put it int.) 
successful operation without the sanction of 
congress. Officials, state, county and town, had 
been electe 1 and had sworn to support the con- 
stitution of the state of California and yet there 
was really no state of California. It had not 
been admitted into the Union. It was only a 
state de facto and it continued in that condition 
nine months before it became a state de jure. 

•,\ 1: ,: (-he question of admitting California 
in o the Union came before congress it evoked 
a bitter controversy. The senate was equally 
divided, thirty senators from the slave states 
and the same number from the free. There 
were among the southern senators some broad 
I and patriotic men, willing to do what 
was right, but they were handicapped by an 

ultra pro-slavery faction, extremists, who 
would willingly sacrifice the Union if by that 
they could extend and perpetuate that sum of 
all villainies, human slavery. This faction in 
the long controversy resorted to every known 
parliamentary device to prevent the admission of 
California under a free state constitution. To 
admit two senators from a free state would de- 
stroy the balance of power. That gone, it could 
never be regained by the south. The north was 
increasing in power and population, while the 
south, under the blighting influence of slavery, 
was retrograding. 

Henry Clay, the man of compromises, under- 
took to bridge over the difficulty by a set of 
resolutions known as the Omnibus bill. These 
were largely concessions to the slave holding 
faction for the loss of the territory acquired by 
the Mexican war. Among others was this, that 
provision should be made by law for the restitu- 
tion of fugitive slaves in any state or territory 
of the Union. This afterward was embodied 
into what was known as the fugitive slave law 
and did more perhaps than any other cause to 
de>tniy the souths beloved institution. 

These resolutions were debated through 
many months and were so amended and changed 
that their author could scarcely recognize them. 
Most of them were adopted in some form and 
effected a temporary compromise. 

On August 13th the bill for the admission 
of California finally came to a vote. It passed 
the senate, thirty-four ayes to eighteen noes. 
Even then the opposition did not cease. Ten 
of the southern pro-slavery extremists, led by 
Jefferson Davis, joined in a protest against the 
action of the majority, the language of which 
was an insult to the senate and treason to the 
government. In the house the bill passed by a 
vote <>f one hundred and fifty ayes to fifty-six 
ultra southern noes. It was approved and signed 
by President Fillmore September 9, 1850. On 
the nth of September the California senators 
and congressmen presented themselves to be 
sworn in. The slave holding faction in the sen- 
ate, headed by Jefferson Davis, who had been 
one of the most bitter opponents to the admis- 
sion, objected. But their protest availed them 
nothing. Their ascendency was gone. We 



might sympathize with them had their fight 
been made for a noble principle, but it was not. 
From that day on until the attempt was made 
in 1861 these men schemed to destroy the 
Union. The admission of California as a free 
state was the beginning of the slave holders' re- 

The news of the admission of California 
reached San Francisco on the morning of Oc- 
tober 18, by the mail steamer Oregon, nearly six 
weeks after congress had admitted it. Business 
was at once suspended, the courts were ad- 
journed and the people went wild with excite- 
ment. Messengers, mounted on fleet steeds, 
spread the news throughout the state. News- 
papers from the states containing an account 
of the proceedings of congress at the time of 
admission sold for $5 each. It was decided to 
hold a formal celebration of the event on the 
29th and preparations were begun for a grand 
demonstration. Neither labor nor money was 
spared to make the procession a success. The 
parade was cosmopolitan in the fullest meaning 
of that word. There were people in it from 
almost every nation under the sun. The Chi- 
nese made quite an imposing spectacle in the 
parade. Dressed in rich native costumes, each 
carrying a gaudily painted fan, they marched 
under command of their own marshals, Ah He 
and Ah Sing. At their head proudly marched 
a color bearer carrying a large blue silk ban- 
ner, inscribed the "China boys." Following 
them came a triumphal car, in which was seated 
thirty boys in black trousers and white shirts, 
representing the thirty states. In the center of 
this group, seated on a raised platform, was a 
young girl robed in white with gold and silver 
gauze floating about her and supporting a 
breast plate, upon which was inscribed "Cali- 
fornia, the Union, it must and shall be pre- 
served." The California pioneers carried a ban- 
ner on which was represented a New Englander 
in the act of stepping ashore and facing a na- 
tive Californian with lasso and serape. In the 
center the state seal and the inscription. "Far 
west, Eureka 1846, California pioneers, or- 
ganized August, 1850." Army and navy offi- 
cers, soldiers, sailors and marines, veterans of 
the Mexican war, municipal officers, the fire de- 

partment, secret and benevolent societies and as- 
sociations, with a company of mounted native 
Californians bearing a banner with thirty-one 
stars on a blue satin ground with the inscription 
in gold letters, California, E Pluribus Unum, all 
these various organizations and orders with 
their marshals and aids mounted on gaily 
caparisoned steeds and decked out with their 
gold and silver trimmed scarfs, made an impos- 
ing display that has seldom if ever been equaled 
since in the metropolis of California. 

At the plaza a flag of thirty-one stars was 
raised to the mast head. An oration was de- 
livered by Judge Nathaniel Bennett and Mrs. 
Wills recited an original ode of her own compo- 
sition. The rejoicing over, the people settled 
down to business. Their unprecedented action 
in organizing a state government and putting it 
into operation without the sanction of congress 
had been approved and legalized by that body. 

Like the Goddess Minerva, represented on its 
great seal, who sprung full grown from the 
brain of Jupiter, California was born a fully ma- 
tured state. She passed through no territorial 
probation. Xo state had such a phenomenal 
growth in its infancy. No state before or since 
has met with such bitter opposition when it 
sought admission into the family of states. 
Never before was there such a medley of nation- 
alities—Yankees, Mexicans, English, Germans, 
French, Spaniards, Peruvians, Polynesians, 
Mongolians — organized into a state and made 
a part of the body politic nolens volens. 

The constitutional convention of 1849 did not 
definitely fix the state capital. San Jose was 
designated as the place of meeting for the legis- 
lature and the organization of the state govern- 
ment. San Jose had offered to donate a square 
of thirty-two acres,' valued at $60,000, for cap- 
itol grounds and provide a suitable building for 
the legislature and state officers. The offer was 
accepted, but when the legislature met there 
December 15, 1849, the building was unfinished 
and for a time the meeting .lature 

were held at a private residence. There was a 
great deal of complaining and dissatisfaction. 
The first capitol of t. 

h had been it 
for a hotel. It was destroyed by tire April 29, 



1853. The accommodations at San Jose were 
so unsatisfactory that the legislature decided 
to locate the capital at some other point. Prop- 
ositions were received from Monterey, from 
Reed of San Jose, from Stevenson & Parker of 
New York of the Pacific and from Gen. M. G. 
Yallejo. Vallejo's proposition was accepted. 
He offered to donate one hundred and fifty-six 
acres of land in a new town that he proposed 
to lay out on the straits of Carquinez (now Yal- 
lejo) for a capital site and within two years to 
give .^370,000 in money for the erection of pub- 
lic buildings. He asked that his proposition be 
submitted to a vote of the people at the next 
general election. His proposition was accepted 
by the legi: Iature. At the general election, Octo- 
ber 7, 1850, Yallejo received seventy-four hun- 
dred and seventy-seven votes; San Jose twelve 
hundred and ninety-two, and Monterey three 
hundred and ninety-nine. The second legisla- 
ture convened at San Jose. General Yallejo ex- 
erted himself to have the change made in accord- 
ance with the previous proposition. The cit- 
izens of San Jose made an effort to retain the 
capital, but a bill was passed making Vallejo 
the permanent seat of government after the 
close of the session, provided General Yallejo 
should give bonds to carry out his proposals. 
In June Governor McDougal caused the gov- 
ernmental archives to be removed from San 
Jose to Vallejo. 

When the members of the third legislature 
met at the new capital January 2, 1852, they 
found a large unfurnished and partly unfinished 
wooden building for their reception. Hotel ac- 
commodations could not be obtained and there 
was even a scarcity of food to feed the hungry 
lawmakers. Sacramento offered its new court 
• house and on the 16th of January the legislature 
convened in that city. The great flood of 

March, 1852, inundated the city and the law- 
makers were forced to reach the halls of legis- 
lation in boats and again there was dissatisfac- 
tion. Then Benicia came to the front with an 
offer of her new city hall, which was above 
high water mark. General Vallejo had become 
financially embarrassed and could not carry out 
his contract with the state, so it was annulled. 
The offer of Benicia was accepted and on May 
18, 1853, that town was declared the permanent 

In the legislature of 1854 the capital question 
again became an issue. Offers were made by 
several aspiring cities, but Sacramento won with 
the proffer of her court house and a block of 
land betwen I and J, Ninth and Tenth streets. 
Then the question of the location of the capital 
got into the courts. The supreme court de- 
cided in favor of Sacramento. Before the legis- 
lature met again the court house that had been 
offered to the state burned down. A new and 
more commodious one was erected and rented 
to the state at $12,000 a year. Oakland made 
an unsuccessful effort to obtain the capital, 
finally a bill was passed authorizing the erection 
of a capitol building in Sacramento at a cost 
not to exceed $500,000. Work was begun on 
the foundation in October, i860. The great 
flood of 1861-62 inundated the city and ruined 
the foundations of the capitol. San Francisco 
made a vigorous effort to get the capital re- 
moved to that city, but was unsuccessful. Work 
was resumed on the building, the plans were 
changed, the edifice enlarged, and, finally, after 
many delays, it was ready for occupancy in De- 
cember, 1869. From the original limit of half a 
million dollars its cost when completed had 
reached a million and a half. The amount ex- 
pended on the building and grounds to date 
foots up $2,600,000. 




WHEN or by whom the name argonaut 
was first applied to the early Cali- 
fornia gold seekers I have not been 
able to ascertain. The earliest allusion to the 
similarity of Jason's voyage after the Golden 
Fleece and the miners' rush to the gold fields of 
California is found in a caricature published in 
the London Punch in 1849. O n tne shore of 
an island is a guide board bearing the inscrip- 
tion "California;" near it is a miner digging gold 
and presumably singing at his work. In a 
boat near the shore is a fat individual, a typical 
"Johnny Bull." He is struggling desperately 
with two individuals who are holding him back 
from leaping into the water, so fascinated is he 
by the song of the miner. Under the drawing 
are the words, "The Song of the Sirens." 

If we include among the argonauts all who 
traveled by land or voyaged by sea in search of 
the golden fleece in the days of '49 we will have 
a motley mixture. The tales of the fabulous rich- 
ness of the gold fields of California spread rap- 
idly throughout the civilized world and drew to 
the territory all classes and conditions of men, 
the bad as well as the good, the indolent as well 
as the industrious, the vicious as well as the 
virtuous. They came from Europe, from South 
America and from Mexico. From Australia 
and Tasmania came the ex-convict and the 
ticket-of-leave man; from the isles of the sea 
came the Polynesian, and from Asia the Hindoo 
and the "Heathen Chinee." 

The means of reaching the land of gold were 
as varied as the character of the people who 
came. Almost every form of vehicle was pressed 
into service on land. One individual, if not more, 
made the trip trundling his impedimenta in a 
wheelbarrow. Others started out in carriages. 
intent on making the journey in comfort and 
ease, but finished on foot, weary, worn and 
ragged. When the great rush came old sailing- 
vessels that had long been deemed unseaworthy 

were fitted out for the voyage to California. It 
must have been the providence that protects 
fools which prevented these from going to the 
bottom of the ocean. With the desperate 
chances that the argonauts took on these old 
tubs, it is singular that there were so few ship- 
wrecks and so little loss of life. Some of these 
were such slow sailers that it took them the 
greater part of a year to round Cape Horn and 
reach their destination. On one of these some 
passengers, exasperated at its slowness, landed 
near Cape St. Lucas and made the long journey 
up the peninsula of Lower California and on to 
San Francisco on foot, arriving there a month 
before their vessel. Another party undertook to 
make the voyage from Nicaragua in a wdiale 
boat and actually did accomplish seven hundred 
miles of it before they were picked up in the last 
extremities by a sailing vessel. 

The Sierra Nevada region, in which gold was 
first found, comprised a strip about thirty miles 
wide and two hundred miles long from north 
to south in the basins of the Feather, Yuba, 
Bear, American, Cosumne, Mokolumne, Stanis- 
laus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers, between the 
elevations of one thousand and five thousand 
feet. In all these streams miners washed gold 
in 1848. The placer mines on the Upper Sacra- 
mento and in the Shasta region were discovered 
and worked late in the fall of 1848. The Kla- 
math mines were discovered later. 

The southern mines, those on the San Joaquin, 
Fresno, Kern and San Gabriel rivers, were lo- 
cated between 1851 and 1855. Gold was found 
in some of the ravines and creeks of San Diego 
county. Practically the gold belt of California 
extends from the .Mexican line to Oregon, but 
at some points it is rather thin. The first gold 
digging was done with butcher knives, the gold 
hunter scratching in the sand and crevices of 
the rock to find nuggets. Next the gold pan 
came into use and the miners became experts 



in twirling the pan in a pool of water, so as to 
wash out the sand and gravel and leave the gold 
dust in the pan. Isaac Humphreys, who had 
mined gold in Georgia, was the first person to 
use a rocker or gold cradle in California. Al- 
though a very simple piece of machinery those 
who reached the mines early found it quite an 
expensive one. Dr. Brooks in his diary, under 
date of June u, 1848, writes: "On Tuesday we 
set to work upon our cradle. We resolved upon 
the construction of two and for this purpose 
went down to the store in a body to see about 
the boards. We found timber extravagantly 
dear, being asked $40 a hundred feet. The next 
question was as to whether we should hire a 
carpenter. We were told there was one or two 
in the diggings, wljo might be hired, though 
at a very extravagant rate. Accordingly Brad- 
ley and I proceeded to see one of these gentle- 
men, and found him washing away with a hollow 
log and a willow branch sieve. He offered to 
help us at the rate of $35 a day, we finding pro- 
visions and tools, and could not be brought to 
charge less. We thought this by far too ex- 
travagant and left him, determined to undertake 
the work ourselves. After two days' work of 
seven men they produced two rough cradles 
and found that three men with a cradle or rocker 
could wash out as much gold in a day as six 
could with pans in the same time." 

A rocker or gold cradle had some resemblance 
to a child's cradle with similar rockers and was 
rocked by means of a perpendicular handle 
fastened to the cradle box. The cradle box con- 
sisted of a wooden trough about twenty inches 
.vide and forty inches long with sides four or 
five inches high. The lower end was left open. 
On the upper end sat the hopper, a box twenty 
inches square with sides four inches high and 
a bottom of sheet iron or zinc pierced with holes 
one-half inch in diameter. Where zinc or iron 
could not be obtained a sieve of willow rods 
was used. Under the hopper was an apron of 
canvas, which sloped down from the lower end 
of the hopper to the upper end of the cradle 
box. A wooden riffle bar an inch square was 
nailed across the bottom of the cradle box about 
its middle, and another al its lower end. Under 
the cradle box were nailed rockers, and near 

the middle an upright handle by which motion 
was imparted. If water and pay dirt were con- 
venient two men were sufficient to operate the 
machine. Seated on a stooi or rock the operator 
rocked with one hand, while with a long handled 
dipper he dipped water from a pool and poured 
it on the sand and gravel in the hopper. When 
the sand and earth had been washed through 
the holes in the sieve the rocks were emptied 
and the hopper filled again from the buckets of 
pay dirt supplied by the other partner. The gold 
was caught on the canvas apron by the riffle 
bars, while the thin mud and sand were washed 
out of the machine by the water. 

In the dry diggings a method of separating 
the gold from the earth was resorted to prin- 
cipally by Sonorans. The pay dirt was dug and 
dried in the sun, then pulverized by pounding 
into fine dust. With a batea or bowl-shaped 
Indian basket filled with this dust, held in both 
hands, the Mexican skillfully tossed the earth 
in the air, allowing the wind to blow away the 
dust and catching the heavier particles and the 
gold in the basket, repeating the process until 
there was little left but the gold. 

The Long Tom was a single sluice with a 
sieve and a box underneath at the end and rif- 
fle bars to stop the gold. The pay dirt was shov- 
eled in at the upper end and a rapid current of 
water washed away the sand and earth, the gold 
falling into the receptacle below. Ground sluic- 
ing was resorted to where a current of water 
from a ditch could be directed against a bank of 
earth or hill with a sloping bedrock. The stream 
of water washing against the upper side of the 
bank caved it down and carried the loose earth 
through a string of sluices, depositing the gold 
in the riffle bars in the bottom of the sluices. 

In the creeks and gulches where there was 
not much fall, sluice mining was commonly re- 
sorted to. A string of sluice boxes was laid, 
each fitting into the upper end of the one below, 
and in the lower ones riffle bars were placed 
to stop the gold. The sluice boxes were placed 
on nellies four feet from the ground and given 
an incline of five or six inches to the rod. The 
gravel from the bedrock up as far as there was 
am- pay dirt was shoveled into the upper boxes 
and a rapid current of water flowing through the 



boxes carried away the gravel and rocks, the 
gold remaining in the riffles. Quicksilver was 
placed between the riffles to catch the fine gold. 
The gold amalgamated with quicksilver was 
cleaned out of the boxes at the end of the day's 
work and separated from the quicksilver in a re- 
tort. These were the principal methods of mining 
used by the argonauts. The machinery and ap- 
pliances were simple and inexpensive. Hy- 
draulic mining came in later, when larger cap- 
ital was required and the mines had fallen into 
the hands of corporations. 

When the news spread throughout the states 
of the wonderful "finds" of gold in California, 
the crudest ideas prevailed in regard to how 
the precious metal was to be extracted from 
the earth. Gold mining was an almost un- 
known industry in the United States. Only 
in a few obscure districts of North Caro- 
lina and Georgia had gold been found, and 
but very few people outside of these dis- 
tricts had ever visited the mines. Not one in 
ten thousand of those who joined the rush 
to California in 1849 na d ever seen a grain of 
virgin gold. The idea prevailed among the gold 
seekers that the gold being found in grains it 
could be winnowed from the sand and earth in 
which it was found like wheat is separated from 
chaff. Imbued with this idea Yankee ingenuity 
set to work to invent labor-saving machines 
that would accomplish the work quickly and 
enrich the miner proportionally. The ships that 
bore the argonauts from their native land car- 
ried out a variety of these gold machines, all 
guaranteed to wrest from the most secret re- 
cesses the auriferous deposits in nature's 
treasure vaults. These machines were of all 
varieties and patterns. They were made of cop- 
per, iron, zinc and brass. Some were operated 
by means of a crank, others had two cranks, 
while others were worked with a treadle. Some 
required that the operator should stand, others 
allowed the miner to sit in an arm chair and 
work in comfort. 

Haskins, in his "Argonauts of California," 
describes one of these machines that was 
brought around the Horn in the ship he came 
on: "It was in the shape of a huge fanning 
mill, with sieves properly arranged for sorting 

the gold ready for bottling. All chunks too 
large for the bottle would be consigned to the 
pork barrel." (The question of bringing home 
the gold in bottles or barrels had been seriously 
discussed and decided in favor of barrels be- 
cause these could be rolled and thus save cost 
of transportation from the mines. J 

"This immense machine which, during our 
passage, excited the envy and jealousy of all 
who had not the means and opportunity of se- 
curing a similar one required, of course, the 
services of a hired man to turn the crank, whilst 
the proprietor would be busily engaged in shov- 
eling in pay dirt and pumping water; the greater 
portion of the time, however, being required, 
as was firmly believed, in corking the bottles 
and fitting the heads in the barrels. This ma- 
chine was owned by a Mr. Allen of Cambridge, 
Mass., who had brought with him a colored 
servant to manage and control the crank por- 
tion of the invaluable institution. 

"Upon landing we found lying on the sand 
and half buried in the mud hundreds of similar 
machines, bearing silent witness at once to the 
value of our gold saving machines without the 
necessity of a trial." 

Nor was it the argonaut alone who came by 
sea that brought these machines. Some of 
these wonderful inventions were hauled across 
the plains in wagons, their owners often sacri- 
ficing the necessities of life to save the prized 
machine. And, when, after infinite toil and trou- 
ble, they had landed their prize in the mines, 
they were chagrined to find it the subject of jest 
and ridicule by those who had some experience 
in mining. 

The gold rush came early in the history of 
California placer mining. The story of a rich 
strike would often depopulate a mining camp in 
a few hours. Even a bare rumor of rich dig- 
gings in some indefinite localit) would send 
scores of miners tramping off on a wild goose 
chase into the mountains. Some of these 
rushes originated through fake stories circu- 
lated for sinister purpose; others were caused 
by exaggerated stories of real d 

One of the most famous fakes of early days 
was the Gold Lake rush of 1S50. This wonder- 
ful lake was suppos< d ted about two 



hundred miles northeast of Marysville, on the 
divide between the Feather and the Yuba rivers. 
The Sacramento Transcript of June kj, 1850, 
says: "We are informed by a gentleman from 
Marysville that it is currently reported there that 
the Indians upon this lake use gold for their 
commonest purposes; that they have a ready 
way of knocking out square blocks, which they 
use for seats and couches upon which to place 
their beds, which are simply bundles of wild 
oats, which grow so profusely in all sections of 
the state. According to report also they use for 
fishhooks crooked pieces of gold and kill their 
game with arrows made of the same material. 
They are reported to be thunderstruck at the 
movements of the whites and their eagerness 
to collect and hoard the materials of the very 
ground upon which they tread. 

"A story is current that a man at Gold Lake 
saw a large piece of gold floating on the lake 
which he succeeded in getting ashore. So 
clear are the waters that another man saw a 
rock of gold on the bottom. After many ef- 
forts he succeeded in lassoing the rock. Three 
days afterward he was seen standing holding on 
to his rope." 

The Placer Times of Marysville reports that 
the specimens brought into Marysville are of a 
value from $1,500 down. Ten ounces is re- 
ported as no unusual yield to the pan. The 
first party of sixty which started out under 
guidance of one who had returned successful 
were assured that they would not get less than 
$500 each per day. We were told that two hun- 
dred had left town with a full supply of pro- 
visions and four hundred mules. Mules and 
horses have doubled in value. Many places of 
business are closed. The diggings at the lake 
are probably the best ever discovered." The 
Times of June [9 says: "It is reported that up 
to last Thursday two thousand persons had 
taken up their journey. Many who were work- 
ing good claims deserted them for the new dis- 
covery. Mules and horses were about impos- 
sible to obtain. Although the truth of the re- 
port rests on the authority of but two or three 
who have returned from Gold Lake, yet few 
are found who doubt the marvelous revelations. 
A party of Kanakas are said to have wintered 

at Gold Lake, subsisting chiefly on the flesh of 
their animals. They are said to have taken out 
^75,000 the first week. When a conviction takes 
such complete possession of a whole com- 
munity, who are fully conversant with all the 
exaggerations that have had their day, it is 
scarcely prudent to utter even a qualified dissent 
from what is universally believed." 

The denouement of the Gold Lake romance 
may he found in the Transcript of July I, 1850. 
"The Gold Lake excitement, so much talked of 
and acted upon of late, has almost subsided. 
A crazy man comes in for a share of the re- 
sponsibility. Another report is that they have 
found one of the pretended discoverers at 
Marysville ami are about to lynch him. In- 
deed, we are told that a demonstration against 
the town is feared by many. People who have 
returned after traveling some one hundred and 
fifty to two hundred miles say that they left vast 
numbers of people roaming between the sources 
of the Yuba and the Feather rivers." 

Scarcely had the deluded argonauts returned 
from a bootless search for the lake of gold when 
another rumored discovery of gold fields of 
fabulous richness sent them rushing off toward 
the sea coast. Now it was Gold Bluff that lured 
I hem away. ( In the northwest coast of Califor- 
nia, near the mouth of the Klamath river, 
precipitous bluffs four hundred feet high mark 
the coast line of the ocean. A party of pros- 
pectors in the fall of 1850, who had been up 
in the Del Norte country, were making their 
way down to the little trading and trapping sta- 
tion of Trinidad to procure provisions. On 
reaching the bluffs, thirty miles above Trinidad, 
they were astonished to find stretching out be- 
fore them a beach glittering with golden sands. 
They could not stop to gather gold; the) were 
starving. So, scraping up a few handfuls of the 
glittering sands, they hastened on. In due 
time the>' reached San Francisco, where they 
exhibited their sand, which proved to be nearly 
half gold. The report of the wonderful find was 
spread by the newspapers and the excitement 
began. Companies were formed and claims lo- 
cated at long range. One company of nine 
locator- -nil an expert to examine their claims, 
lie, by a careful mathematical calculation, as- 



certained that the claim would yield forty-three 
million dollars to each partner. As there were 
fifteen miles of gold beach, the amount of gold 
in the sands was sufficient to demonetize the 
precious metal. A laudable desire to benefit 
the human race possessed some of the claim 
owners. They formed joint stock companies with 
shares at $100 each. Gold Bluff mining stock 
went off like the proverbial hot cakes and pros- 
pectors went off as rapidly. Within two days 
after the expert's wonderful story was spread 
abroad nine ships were fitted out for Gold Bluff. 
The first to arrive off the Bluff was the vessel 
containing a party of the original discoverers. 
In attempting to land in a boat, the boat was 
upset in the breakers and five of the six occu- 
pants were drowned, Bertram, the leader of the 
party making the discovery, alone escaping. 
The vessel put back to Trinidad and the gold 
hunters made their way up the coast to the 
Bluff. But alas for their golden dreams! 
Where they had hoped to gather gold by the 
ship load no gold was found. Old ocean had 
gathered it back into his treasure vaults. 

The bubble burst as suddenly as it had ex- 
panded. And yet there was gold at Gold Bluff 
and there is gold there yet. If the ocean could 
be drained or coffer dammed for two hundred 
miles along the gold coast of northern Califor- 
nia and Oregon, all the wealth of Alaska would 
be but the panning out of a prospect hole com- 
pared to the richness that lies hidden in the 
sands of Gold Beach. For years after the 
bursting of the Gold Bluff bubble, when the 
tide was low, the sands along Gold Beach were 
mined with profit. 

The Kern river excitement in the spring of 
1855 surpassed everything that had preceded il. 
Seven years of mining had skimmed the rich- 
ness of the placers. The northern and central 
gold fields of California had been thoroughly 
prospected. The miners who had been accus- 
tomed to the rich strikes of early years could 
not content themselves with moderate returns. 
They were on the qui vive for a rich strike and 
ready for a rush upon the first reporl of one. 
The first discoveries on the Kern river were 
made in the summer of 1854, but no ex< it< 
followed immediately. During the fall and win- 

ter rumors were set afloat of rich strikes on the 
head waters of that stream. The stories grew 
as they traveled. One that had a wide circula- 
tion and was readily accepted ran about as fol- 
lows: "A .Mexican doctor had appeared in Mari- 
posa loaded down with gold nuggets. He re- 
ported that he and four companions had found 
a region paved with gold. The very hills were 
yellow with outcroppings. While gloating over 
their wealth and loading it into sacks the In- 
dians attacked them and killed his four com- 
panions. He escaped with one sack of gold. lie- 
proposed to organize a company large enough 
to exterminate the Indians and then bring out 
the gold on pack mules.*' This as well as other 
stories as improbable were spread broadcast 
throughout the state. Many of the reports of 
wonderful strikes were purposely magnified by 
merchants and dealers in mining supplies who 
were overstocked with unsalable goods: and 
by transportation companies with whom busi- 
ness was slack. Their purpose was accom- 
plished and the rush was on. It began in Jan- 
uary, r S55. Every steamer down the coast to 
Los Angeles was loaded to the guards with 
adventurers for the mines. The sleepy old 
metropolis of the cow counties waked up to 
find itself suddenly transformed into a bustling 
mining camp. The Southern CaUfornian of Feb- 
ruary 8, 1855, thus describes the situation: "The 
road from our valley is literally thronged with 
people on their way to the mines. Hundreds 
of people have been leaving not only the city, 
but every portion of the count\. Every descrip- 
tion of vehicle and animal has been brought 
into requisition to take the exultant seekers 
after wealth to the goal of their hopes. Im- 
mense ten-mule wagons strung out one after 
another; long trains of pack mules and men 
mounted and on foot, with picks and sho 
boarding-house keepers with their tents: mer- 
chants with their stocks of miners' necessaries 
and gamblers with their 'papers' are constantly 
leaving for the Kern river mines. The > 

1, iries are afloat. If the mine- turn 1 >u1 $10 
a day to the man everybody ough 
ft, ,1. 'I he opei mines has b< 

( ,, ids( ml to all of us, as the business of the en- 
tire countr) was on the poinl of taking to a 



'ice. The great scarcity of money is seen in 
the present exorbitant rates of interest which it 
commands: 8, 10 and even 15 per cent a month 
is freely paid and the supply even at these rates 
is too meager to meet the demands." As the 
rush increased our editor grows more jubilant. 
In his issue of March 7, he throws out these 
headlines: "Stop the Press! Glorious Xews 
from Kern River! Bring Out the Big Gun! 
There are a thousand gulches rich with gold 
and room for ten thousand miners. Miners 
averaged $50 a day. One man with his own 
hands took out $160 in a day. Five men in ten 
days took out $4,500." 

Another stream of miners and adventurers 
was pouring into the mines by way of the San 
Joaquin valley. From Stockton to the Kern 
river, a distance of three hundred miles, the 
road was crowded with men on foot, on stages, 
on horseback and on every form of convey- 
ance that would take them to the new El Do- 
rado. In four months five or six thousand men 
had found their way into the Kern river basin. 
There was gold there, but not enough to go 
around. A few struck it rich, the many struck 
nothing but "hard luck" and the rush out began. 
Those who had ridden into the valley footed it 
out, and those who had footed it in on sole 
leather footed it nut on their natural soles. 

After the wild frenzy of Kern river, the press 
of the state congratulated the public with the 
assurance that the era of wild rushes was past — 
"what had been lost in money had been gained 
in experience." As if prospectors ever profited 
by experience! Scarcely had the victims of Kern 
river resumed work in the old creeks and canons 
they had deserted to join in the rush when a 
rumor came, faint at first, but gathering 
strength at each repetition, that rich diggings 
had been struck in the far north. This time 
it is Frazer river. True. Frazer river is in the 
British possessions, hut what of that? There 
are enough miners in California to seize the 
country and hold it until the cream of the mines 
has been skimmed. Rumors of the richness 
of mines increased with every arrival of a 
steamer from the north. Captains, pursers. 
mates, cooks and waiters all confirmed the sto- 
ries of rich strikes. Doubters asserted that the 

dust and nuggets exhibited had made the trip 
from San Francisco to Victoria and back. But 
the}- were silenced by the assurance that the 
transportation company was preparing to double 
the number of its vessels on that route. Com- 
modore Wright was too smart to run his steam- 
ers on fake reports, and thus the very thing that 
should have caused suspicion was used to con- 
firm the truth of the rumors. The doubters 
doubted no more, but packed their outfits for 
Frazer river. California was played out. Where 
could an honest miner pan out $100 a day 
in California now? He could do it every day 
in Frazer; the papers said so. The first notice 
of the mines was published in March, 1858. The 
rush began the latter part of April and in four 
months thirty thousand men, one-sixth of the 
voting population of the state, had rushed to 
the mines. 

The effect of the craze was disastrous to busi- 
ness in California. Farms were abandoned and 
crops lost for want of hands to harvest them. 
Rich claims in old diggings were sold for a trifle 
of their value. Lots on Montgomery street that 
a few years later were worth $1,500 a front foot 
were sold for $100. Real estate in the interior 
towns was sacrificed at 50 to yz, per cent less 
than it was worth before the rush began. But 
a halt was called in the mad rush. The returns 
were not coming in satisfactorily. By the mid- 
dle of July less than $100,000 in dust had 
reached San Francisco, only about $3 for each 
man who had gone to the diggings. There was 
gold there and plenty of it, so those interested 
in keeping up the excitement said: "The Frazer 
river is high; wait till it subsides." But it did 
not subside, and it has not subsided since. If 
the Frazer did not subside the excitement did, 
and that suddenly. Those who had money 
enough or could borrow from their friends got 
away at once. Those who had none hung 
around Victoria and New Westminster until 
the) were shipped back at the government's ex- 
pense. The Frazer river craze was the last of the 
mad. unreasoning "gold rushes." The Washoe 
excitement of '59 and the "Ho! for Idaho of 
1863 64" had some of the characteristics of the 
early gold rushes, but they soon settled down to 
tead\ business and the yield from these fairly 



recompensed those who were frugal and indus- 

Never before perhaps among civilized people 
was there witnessed such a universal leveling 
as occurred in the first years of the mining ex- 
citement in California. "As the labor required 
was physical instead of mental, the usual supe- 
riority of head workers over hand workers dis- 
appeared entirely. Men who had been gov- 
ernors and legislators and judges in the old 
states worked by the side of outlaws and con- 
victs; scholars and students by the side of men 
who could not read or write; those who had 
been masters by the side of those who had been 
slaves; old social distinctions were obliterated; 
everybody did business on his own account, and 
not one man in ten was the employe and much 
less the servant of another. Social distinctions 
appeared to be entirely obliterated and no man 
was considered inferior to another. The hard- 
fisted, unshaven and patch-covered miner was 
on terms of perfect equality with the well- 
dressed lawyer, surgeon or merchant; and in 
general conferences, discussions and even con- 

versations the most weather-beaten and strongly 
marked face, or, in other words, the man who 
had seen and experienced the most, notwith- 
standing his wild and tattered attire, was lis- 
tened to with more attention and respectful con- 
sideration than the man of polished speech and 
striking antithesis. One reason of this was that in 
those days the roughest-looking man not infre- 
quently knew more than anybody else of what 
was wanted to be known, and the raggedest man 
not infrequently was the most influential and 
sometimes the richest man in the locality."- 

This independent spirit was characteristic of 
the men of '48 and '49. Then nearly everybody 
was honest and theft was almost unknown. 
With the advent of the criminal element in 
1850 and later there came a change. Before that 
a pan of gold dust could be left in an open tent 
unguarded, but with the coming of the Sydney 
ducks from Australia and men of their class it 
became necessary to guard property with sedu- 
lous care. 

* Hindi's History of California. Vol. III. 



IN 1835 Capt. William A. Richardson built 
the first house on the Yerba Buena cove. 
It was a shanty of rough board, which he 
replaced a year later with an adobe building. 
He was granted a lot in 1836 and his building 
stood near what is now the corner of Dupont 
and Clay streets. Richardson had settled at 
Sausalito in 1822. He was an Englishman by 
birth and was one of the first foreigners to settle 
in California. 

Jacob P. Leese, an American, in partnership 
with Spear & Hinckley, obtained a lot in 1836 
and built a house and store near that of Captain 
Richardson. There is a tradition that Mr. Leese 
began his store building on the first of July and 
finished it at ten o'clock on the morning of 
July 4, and for a house warming celebrated the 
glorious Fourth in a style that astonished the 
natives up and down the coast. The house was 
sixty feet long and twenty-five broad, and, if 

completed in three days, Mr. Leese certainly de 
serves the credit of having eclipsed some of 
the remarkable feats in house building that were 
performed after the great fires of San Francisco 
in the early '50s. Mr. Leese and his neighbor, 
Captain Richardson, invited all the high-toned 
Spanish families for a hundred miles around to 
the celebration. The Mexican and American 
flags floated over the building and two six- 
pounders fired salutes. At five o'clock the 
guests sat down to a sumptuous dinner which 
lasted, toasts and all, till 10 o'clock, and then 
came dancing; and, as Mr. Leese remarks in his 
diary; "Our Fourth ended on the evening of 
the fifth." Mr. I.eese was an energetic person. 
I le built a house in three days, gave a Fourth of 
|uly celebration thai la-ted two days, and inside 
of a week had a -tore opened and was doing a 
thriving business with his late guests. He fell 
in love with the same energy that he did busi- 



ness. Among the guests at his 4th of July 
celebration were the Vallejos, the nabobs of 
Sonoma. Leese courted one of the girls and in 
a few months after the celebration married her. 
Their daughter, Rosalie Leese, was the first 
child born in Yerba Buena. Such was the be- 
ginning of San Francisco. 

This settlement was on a crescent-shaped cove 
that lay between Clark's Point and the Rincon. 
The locality was known as Verba Buena (good 
herb), a species of mint to which the native Cal- 
ifornians attributed many medicinal virtues. 
The peninsula still bore the name that had been 
applied to it when the mission and presidio 
were founded, San Francisco. Yerba Buena 
was a local appellation and applied only to the 
little hamlet that had grown up on the cove. 
This settlement, although under the Mexican 
government, was not a Mexican town. The 
foreign element, the American predominating, 
had always been in the ascendency. At the time 
of the conquest, among its two hundred inhab- 
itants, were representatives of almost every civ- 
ilized nation on the globe. It was a cosmopol- 
itan town. In a very short time after the con- 
quest it began to take on a new growth and was 
recognized as the coming metropolis of Califor- 
nia. The curving beach of the cove at one 
point (Jackson street) crossed the present line 
of Montgomery street. 

Richardson and Leese had built their stores 
and warehouses back from the beach because of 
a Mexican law that prohibited the building of a 
house on the beach where no custom house ex- 
isted. All houses had to be built back a certain 
number of varas from high-water mark. This 
regulation was made to prevent smuggling. Be- 
tween the shore line of the cove and anchorage 
there was a long stretch of shallow water. This 
made transportation of goods from ship to 
shore very inconvenient and expensive. With 
the advent of the Americans and the inaugura- 
tion of a more progressive era it became neces- 
sary for the convenient landing of ships and for 
the discharging and receiving of their cargoes 
that the beach front of the town should be im- 
proved bv building wharves and docks. The dif- 
ficulty was In find the means to do this. The 
general government of the United States could 

not undertake it. The war with Mexico was 
still in progress. The only available way was 
to sell off beach lots to private parties, but who 
was to give title was the question. Edwin Bry- 
ant, February 22, 1847, na d succeeded Wash- 
ington Bartlett as alcalde. Bryant was a pro- 
gressive man, and, recognizing the necessity of 
improvement in the shipping facilities of the 
town, he urged General Kearny, the acting 
governor, to relinquish, on the part of the gen- 
eral government, its claim to the beach lands in 
front of the town in favor of the municipality 
under certain conditions. General Kearny 
really had no authority to relinquish the claim 
of the general government to the land, for the 
simple reason that the general government had 
not perfected a claim. The country was held 
as conquered territory. Mexico had made no 
concession of the land by treaty. It was not 
certain that California would be ceded to the 
United States. Under Mexican law the gov- 
ernor of the territory, under certain conditions, 
had the right to make grants, and General Kear- 
ny, assuming the power given a Mexican gov- 
ernor, issued the following decree: "I, Brig.- 
Gen. S. W. Kearny, Governor of California, 
by virtue of authority in me vested by the Pres- 
ident of the United States of America, do hereby 
grant, convey, and release unto the Town of San 
Francisco, the people or corporate authorities 
thereof, all the right, title and interest of the 
Government of the United States and of the 
Territory of California in and to the Beach and 
Water Lots on the East front of said Town of 
San Francisco included between the points 
known as the Rincon and Fort Montgomery, 
excepting such lots as may be selected for the 
use of the United States Government by the 
senior officers of the army and navy now there; 
provided, the said ground hereby ceded shall 
be divided into lots and sold by public auction to 
the highest bidder, after three months* notice 
previously given; the proceeds of said sale to 
be for the benefit of the town of San Francisco. 
Given at Monterey, capital of California, this 
10th day of March, 1847, and the seventy-first 
year of the independence of the United States." 
S. W. Kearny, 
Brig.-Gen'l & Gov. of California. 


In pursuance of this decree, Alcalde Bryant 
advertised in the Californian that the ground 
described in the decree, known as Water Lots, 
would be surveyed and divided into convenient 
building lots and sold to the highest bidder on 
the 29th of June (1847). He then proceeds in 
the advertisement to boom the town. "The site 
of the town of San Francisco is known by all 
navigators and mercantile men acquainted with 
the subject to be the most commanding com- 
mercial position on the entire western coast of 
the Pacific ocean, and the Town itself is no 
doubt destined to become the commercial em- 
porium of the western side of the North Ameri- 
can continent." The alcaldes' assertions must 
have seemed rather extravagant to the dwellers 
in the little burgh on the cove of Verba Buena. 
But Bryant was a far-seeing man and proved 
himself in this instance to be a prophet. 

It will be noticed that both General Kearnj 
and Alcalde Bryant call the town San Francisco. 
Alcalde Bartlett, the predecessor in office of 
Alcalde Bryant, had changed its name just be- 
fore he was recalled to his ship. He did not 
like the name Yerba Buena, so he summarily 
changed it. He issued a proclamation setting 
forth that hereafter the town should be known 
as San Francisco. Having proclaimed a change 
of name, he proceeded to give his reasons: 
Yerba Buena was a paltry cognomen for a cer- 
tain kind of mint found on an island in the 
bay; it was a merely local name, unknown be- 
yond the district, while San Francisco had long 
been familiar on the maps. "Therefore it is 
hereby ordained, etc." Bartlett builded better 
than he knew. It would have been a sad mis- 
take for the city to have carried the "outlandish 
name which Americans would mangle in pro- 
nouncing," as the alcalde said. 

The change was made in the latter part of 
January, 1847, but it was some time before the 
new name was generally adopted. 

The California Star, Sam Brannan's paper, 
which had begun to shine January 9, 1847, m 
its issue of March 20, alluding to the change, 
says: "We acquiesce in it, though we prefer 
the old name. When the change was first at- 
tempted we viewed it as a mere assumption of 
authority, without law of precedent, and there- 

fore we adhered to the old name — Yerba 

"It was asserted by the late alcalde, Washing- 
ton Bartlett, that the place was called San 
Francisco in some old Spanish paper which he 
professed to have in his possession; but how 
could we believe a man even about that which 
it is said 'there is nothing in it,' who had so 
often evinced a total disregard for his own honor 
and character and the honor of the country 
which gave him birth and the rights of his fel- 
low citizens in the district?" Evidently the edi- 
tor had a grievance and was anxious to get even 
with the alcalde. Bartlett demanded an inves- 
tigation of some charges made against his ad- 
ministration. He was cleared of all blame. He 
deserves the thanks of all Californians in sum- 
marily suppressing Yerba Buena and preventing 
it from being fastened on the chief city of the 

There was at that time (on paper) a city of 
Francisca. The city fathers of this budding me- 
tropolis were T. O. Larkin and Robert Semple. 
In a half-column advertisement in the Califor- 
nian of April 20, 1847. and several subsequent 
issues, headed "Great Sale of City Lots," they set 
forth the many advantages and merits of 
Francisca. The streets are eighty feet wide, the 
alleys twenty feet wide, and the lots fifty yards 
front and forty yards back. The whole city 
comprises five square miles." 

"Francisca is situated on the Straits of Car- 
quinez, on the north side of the Hay of San 
Francisco, about thirty miles from the mouth 
of the bay and at the head of ship navigation. 
In front of the city is a commodious bay, large 
enough for two hundred ships to ride at anchor, 
safe from any wind." "The entire 

trade of the great Sacramento and San Joaquin 
valleys, a fertile country of great width and near 
seven hundred miles long from north to south, 
must of necessity pass through the narrow chan- 
nel of Carquinez and the bay and country is 
so situated that even- person who passes from 
one side of the bay to the other will find the 
nearest and best w.v ' Francisca, 

with its manifold natural advantages, ought to 
have been a great city, the of Cali- 

fornia, but the Fates were ; \!calde 



Bartlett, probably without any design of doing 
so, dealt it a fearful blow when he dubbed the 
town of the good herb, San Francisco. Two 
cities with names so nearly alike could not live 
and thrive in the same state. Francisca became 
Benicia. The population of San Francisco (or 
Verba Buena, as it was then called) at the time 
that Captain Montgomery raised the stars and 
stripes and took possession of it probably did 
not exceed two hundred. Its change of masters 
accelerated its growth. The Calif ornian of Sep- 
tember 4, 1847 (fourteen months after it came 
under the flag of the United States), gives the 
following statistics of its population ami prog- 
ress: Total white male population, 247; female, 
123; Indians, male, 26; female, 8; South Sea 
Islanders, male, 39; female 1; negroes, male, 
9; female 1; total population, 454. 

Nearly every country on the globe had repre- 
sentatives in its population, and the various vo- 
cations by which men earn a living were 
well represented. Minister, one; doctors, three; 
lawyers, three; surveyors, two; agriculturists, 
eleven; bakers, seven: blacksmiths, six; brew- 
er, one; butchers, seven; cabinetmakers, two; 
carpenters, twenty-six; cigarmaker, one; coop- 
ers, three; clerks, thirteen; gardener, one; 
grocers, five; gunsmiths, two; hotel-keepers, 
three; laborers, twenty; masons, four; mer- 
chants, eleven; miner, one; morocco case 
maker, one; navigators (inland), six; navigator 
(ocean), one; painter, one; printer, one; sol- 
dier, one; shoemakers, four; silversmith, one; 
tailors, four; tanners, two; watchmaker, one; 
weaver, one. Previous to April 1, 1847, accord- 
ing to the Californicn, there had been erected in 
the town seventy-nine buildings, classified as 
follows: Shanties, twenty-two; frame buildings, 
thirty-one; adobe buildings, twenty-six. Since 
April 1, seventy-eight buildings have been 
erected, viz.: Shanties, twenty: frame buildings. 
forty-seven; ad. .be buildings, eleven. "Within 
five months last past," triumphantly adds the 
editor of the Calif ornian, "as many buildings 
have been built as were erected in all the pre- 
vious years of the town's existence." 

The town continued to grow with wonderful 
rapidity throughout the year 1847, considering 
that peace had not yel been declared and the 

destiny of California was uncertain. According 
1" a school census taken in March, 1848. by 
the Board of Trustees, the population was: 
Males, five hundred and seventy-five; females, 
one hundred and seventy-seven; and "children 
of age to attend school," sixty, a total of eight 
hundred and twelve. Building kept pace with 
the increase of population until the "gold fever" 
became epidemic. Dr. Brooks, writing in his 
diary May 17, says: "Walking through the town 
to-day, I observed that laborers were employed 
only upon about half a dozen of the fifty new 
buildings which were in the course of being 
run up." 

The first survey of lots in the town had been 
made by a Frenchman named Vioget. Xo 
names had been given to the streets. This sur- 
vey was made before the conquest. In 1847, 
Jasper O'Farrell surveyed and platted the dis- 
trict extending about half a mile in the different 
directions from the plaza. The streets were 
named, and, with a very few changes, still retain 
the names then given. In September the coun- 
cil appointed a committee to report upon the 
building of a wharf. Jt was decided to con- 
struct two wharves, one from the foot of Clay 
street and the other from the foot of Broadway. 
Money was appropriated to build them and they 
had been extended some distance seaward when 
the rush to the mines suspended operations. 
After considerable agitation by the two news- 
papers and canvassing for funds, the first school- 
house was built. It was completed December 
4, 1847, but, for lack of funds, or, as the Star 
says, for lack of energy in the council, school 
was not opened on the completion of the house. 
In March the council appropriated $400 and 
April 1, 1848, Thomas Douglas, a graduate of 
Yale College, took charge of the school. San 
Francisco was rapidly developing into a pro- 
gressive American city. Unlike the older towns 
.if California, it had but a small Mexican popu- 
lation. Even had not gold been discovered, it 
would have grown into a commercial city of con- 
siderable size. 

The first effect of the gold discovery and the 
consequenl rush to the mines was to bring 
everything to a standstill. As Kemble, of the 
Star, puts it. it was "as if a curse had arrested 


our onward course of enterprise; everything 
wears a desolate and sombre look; everywhere 
all is dull, monotonous, dead." The return of 
the inhabitants in a few months and the influx 
of new arrivals gave the town a boom in the 
fall of 1848. Building was only limited by the 
lack of material, and every kind of a makeshift 
was resorted to to provide shelter against win- 
ter rains. From the many attempts at describ- 
ing the town at this stage of its development, I 
select this from "Sights in the Gold Regions," a 
book long since out of print. Its author, T. T. 
Johnson, arrived at San Francisco April 1, 1849. 
"Proceeding on our survey, we found the 
streets, or, properly, the roads, laid out reg- 
ularly, those parallel with the water being a 
succession of terraces, and these ascending the 
lulls or along their sides being in some instances 
cut down ten or twelve feet below the surface. 
Except a portion of the streets fronting upon 
the cove, they are all of hard-beaten, sandy claw 
as solid as if macadamized. About three hun- 
dred houses, stores, shanties and sheds, with a 
great many tents, composed the town at that 
period. The houses were mostly built of rough 
boards and unpainted ; brown cottons or calico 
nailed against the beams and joists answered for 
wall and ceiling of the better class of tenements. 
With the exception of the brick warehouse of 
Howard and Melius, the establishments of the 
commercial houses of which we had heard so 
much were inferior to the outhouses of the 
country seats on the Hudson; and yet it would 
puzzle the New York Exchange to produce 
merchant princes of equal importance." :: 
"We strolled among the tents in the outskirts 
of the town. Here was 'confusion worse con- 
founded,' chiefly among Mexicans, Peruvians 
and Chilians. Every kind, size, color and shape 
of tent pitched helter-skelter and in the most 
awkward manner were stowed full of everything 
under the sun." 

In the first six months of 1849 fifteen thou- 
sand souls were added to the population of San 
Francisco; in the latter half of that year about 
four thousand arrived every month by sea alone. 
At first the immigrants were from Mexico, 
Chile, Peru and the South American ports 
orally; but early in the spring the American-; 

began to arrive, coming by way of Panama and 
Cape Horn, and later across the plains. Europe 
sent its contingent by sea via Cape Horn ;. and 
China, Australia and the Hawaiian Islands 
added to the city's population an undesirable 
element. A large majority of those who came 
by sea made their way to the mines, but many- 
soon returned to San Francisco, some to take 
their departure for home, others to become resi- 
dents. At the end of the year San Francisco 
had a population of twenty-live thousand. The 
following graphic description of life in San 
Francisco in the fall of '49 and spring of '50 I take 
from a paper, "Pioneer Days in San Francisco," 
written by John Williamson Palmer, and pub- 
lished in the Century Magazine (1890): "And 
how did they all live? In frame houses of one 
story, more commonly in board shanties and 
canvas tents, pitched in the midst of sand or 
mud and various rubbish and strange filth and 
fleas; and they slept on rude cots or on soft 
planks, under horse blankets, on tables, coun- 
ters, floors, on trucks in the open air, in bunks 
braced against the weather-boarding, forty of 
them in one loft; and so they tossed and 
scratched and swore and laughed and sang and 
skylarked, those who were not tired or drunk 
enough to sleep. And in the working hours 
they bustled, and jostled, and tugged, and 
sweated, and made money, always made money. 
They labored and they lugged; they worked on 
lighters, drove trucks, packed mules, rang bells, 
carried messages, 'waited' in restaurants, 
"marked" for billiard tallies, served drinks in 
bar rooms, "faked' on the plaza, "cried" at auc- 
tions, toted lumber for houses, ran a game of 
faro or roulette in the El Dorado or the Bella 
Union, or manipulated three-card monte on 
the head of a barrel in front of the Parker 
House; they speculated, and. a- a rule, gam- 

"Clerks in stores and offices had munificent 
salaries. Five dollars a da) was aboul the small- 
est stipend even in the custom house, and one 
Baptist preacher was paid $10,000 a year. La- 
borers received $1 an hour; a pick or a shovel 
was worth $10; a tin pan or a wooden bowl 
$5, and a butcher knife $30. At one time car- 
penters who were getting $12 a day struck 



[or $16. Lumber rose to $500 per thou- 
sand feet, and every brick in a house cost 
a dollar one way or another. Wheat, flour 
and salt pork sold at $40 a barrel; a small 
loaf of bread was fifty cents and a hard-boiled 
egg a dollar. You paid $3 to get into the cir- 
cus and $55 for a private box at the theater. 
Forty dollars was the price for ordinary coarse 
lux us, and a pair that came above the knees 
and would carry you gallantly through the quag- 
mires brought a round hundred. When a shirt 
became very dirty the wearer threw it away and 
bought a new one. Washing cost $15 a dozen 
in 1849. 

"Rents were simply monstrous; $3,000 a 
month in advance for a 'store' hurriedly built of 
rough, boards. Wright & Co. paid $75,000 for 
the wretched little place on the corner of the 
plaza that they called the Miners' Bank, and 
$36,000 was asked for the use of the i )ld Adobe 
as a custom-house. The Parker House paid 
$120,000 a year in rents, nearly one-half of that 
amount being collected from gamblers who held 
the second floor; and the canvas tent next door 
used a^ a gambling saloon, and called the El 
Dorado, was good for $40,000 a year. From 
10 to 15 per cent a month was paid in advance 
for the use of money borrowed on substantial 
security. The prices of real estate went up 
among the stars; $8,000 for a lifty-vara lot that 
had been boughl in [849 for $20. A lot pur- 
1 hased two years before for a barrel of aguar- 
diente sold for $18,000. Yet, for all that, every- 
body made money. 

•'Tin- aspeel of tin- streets of San Francisco al 
this time was such as one may imagine of an 
unsightl sand ami mud churned by 

ontinual grinding of heavy wagons and 
trucks and the tugging and floundering of 
mules .Mid oxen; thoroughfares irregu- 
lar and uneven, ungraded, unpaved, unplanked. 
obstructed by lumber and goods, alternate 
humps and holes, the actual dumping places of 
.An, hand)- receptacles For the general 
sweepings ami rubbish and indescribable offal 
and filth, the refusi oi an indiscriminate popu- 
ng' t' igether in shanties and tents. 

\nd these conditions extended beyond the 
"'in into die chaparral and under- 

brush that covered the sand hills on the north 
and west. 

"The flooding rains of winter transformed 
what should have been thoroughfares into 
treacherous quagmires set with holes and traps 
fit to smother horse and man. Loads of brush- 
wood and branches of trees cut from the hills 
were thrown into these swamps; but they served 
no more than a temporary purpose and the in- 
mates of tents and houses made such bridges 
and crossings as they could with boards, boxes 
and barrels. Men waded through the slough 
and thought themselves lucky when they sank 
no deeper than their waists." 

It is said that two horses mired down in the 
mud of Montgomery street were left to die of 
starvation, and that three drunken men were 
suffocated between Washington and Jackson 
streets. It was during the winter of '49 that the 
famous sidewalk of flour sacks, cooking stoves 
and tobacco boxes was built. It extended from 
Simmons. Hutchinson & Co.'s store to Adams 
Express office, a distance of about seventy-five 
yards. The first portion was built of Chilean 
flour in one hundred pound sacks, next came the 
cooking stoves in a long row, and then followed 
a double row of tobacco boxes of large size, 
and a yawning gap of the walk was bridged by 
a piano. Chile flour, cooking stoves, tobacco 
and pianos were cheaper material for building- 
walks, owing to the excessive supply of these, 
than lumber at $600 a thousand. 

In the summer of '49 there were more than 
three hundred sailing vessels lying in the harbor 
of San Francisco, from which the sailors had 
deserted to go to the mines. Some of these ves- 
sels rotted where they were moored. Some 
were hauled up in the sand or mud flats ami 
used for store houses, lodging houses and sa- 
loons. As the water lots were filled in and built 
upon, these ships sometimes formed pari of 
tin- line of buildings on the street. The brig 
! uphemia was the first jail owned by the city; 
the store ship \poll.. was converted into a 
lodging house and saloon, anil the X'iantie Hotel 

at the e. niier of Sansoiiie and ( l.n streets «,is 
built on the hull of the ship Xiantie. As the 
wharves were extended out into the bay the 
space between was tilled in from the sand hills 



and houses built along the wharves. In this 
way the cove was gradually filled in. The high 
price of lumber and the great scarcity of houses 
brought about the importation from New York, 
Boston, Philadelphia and London of houses 
ready framed to set up. For a time im- 
mense profits were made in this, but an ex- 
cessive shipment like that of the articles of 
which the famous sidewalk was made brought 
down the price below cost, and the business 

The first of the great fires that devastated San 
Francisco occurred on Christmas eve, 1849. It 
started in Denison's Exchange, a gambling 
house on the east side of the plaza. It burned 
the greater part of the block between Wash- 
ington and Clay streets and Kearny and Mont- 
gomery streets. The loss was estimated at a 
million and a quarter dollars. The second great 
fire occurred on May 4, 1850. It burned over 
the three blocks between Montgomery and 
Dupont streets, bounded by Jackson and Clay 
streets, and the north and east sides of Ports- 
mouth square. The loss was estimated at 
$4,000,000. It started in the United States Ex- 
change, a gambling den, at four o'clock in the 
morning, and burned for seven hours. The fire 
was believed to be of incendiary origin and sev- 
eral suspicious characters were arrested, but 
nothing could be proved against them. A num- 
ber of the lookers-on refused to assist in arrest- 
ing the progress of the flames unless paid for 
their labor ; and $3 an hour was demanded and 
paid to some who did. 

On the 14th of June, 1850, a fire broke out in 
the Sacramento House, on the east side of Kear- 
ny street, between Clay and Sacramento. The 
entire district from Kearny street between Clay 
and California to the water front was burned 
over, causing a loss of $3,000,000. Over three 
hundred houses were destroyed. The fourth 
great fire of the fateful 'year of 1850 occurred 
September 17. It started on Jackson street and 
destroyed the greater part of the blocks be- 
tween Dupont and Montgomery streets from 
Washington to Pacific streets. The loss in this 
was not so great from the fact that the district 
contained mostly one-story houses. It was esti- 
mated at half a million dollars. December l_| 

of the same year a fire occurred on Sacramento 
street below Montgomery. Although the dis- 
trict burned over was not extensive, the loss 
was heavy. The buildings were of corrugated 
iron, supposed to be fireproof, and were filled 
with valuable merchandise. The loss amounted 
to $1,000,000. After each fire, building was re- 
sumed almost before the embers of the fire that 
consumed the former buildings were extin- 
guished. After each fire better buildings were 
constructed. A period of six months' exemp- 
tion had encouraged the inhabitants of the fire- 
afflicted city to believe that on account of the 
better class of buildings constructed the danger 
of great conflagrations was past, but the worst 
was yet to come. At 11 p. m. May 3, 1851, a 
fire, started by incendiaries, broke out on the 
south side of the plaza. A strong northwest 
wind swept across Kearny street in broad 
sheets of flame, first southeastward, then, the 
wind changing, the flames veered to the north 
and east. All efforts to arrest them were use- 
less; houses were blown up and torn down in 
attempts to cut off communication, but the en- 
gines were driven back step by step, while some 
of the brave firemen fell victims to the fire fiend. 
The flames, rising aloft in whirling volumes, 
swept away the frame houses and crumbled up 
with intense heat the supposed fireproof struc- 
tures. After ten hours, when, the fire abated for 
want of material to burn, all that remained of 
the city were the sparsely settled outskirts. All 
of the business district between Pine and Pa- 
cific streets, from Kearny to the Battery on 
the water front, was in ruins. Over one thou- 
sand houses had been burned. The loss of prop- 
erty was estimated at $10,000,000, an amount 
greater than the aggregate of all the preceding 
fires. A number of lives were lust. During the 
progress of the fire large quantities of goods 
were stolen by bands of thieves. The sixth and 
last of the great conflagrations that dev; 
the city occurred on the 22d of June. [851. The 
fire started in a building on Powell street and 
ravaged the district between Cla) andBroadway, 
from Powell to Sansome Foui hundred and 
fifty houses were burned, involving a loss of 
$2,500,000. An inn- department, 

more stringent building regulations and a bet- 



ter water supply combined to put an end to the 
era of great fires. 

After the great fires of 1851 had swept over 
the city there was practically nothing left of 
the old metropolis of the early gold rush. The 
hastily constructed wooden shanties were gone; 
the corrugated iron building imported from 
Xew York and London, and warranted to be 
fireproof, had proved to be worthless to with- 
stand great heat; the historic buildings had dis- 
appeared; the new city that. Phcenix-like, arose 
from the ashes of the old was a very different 
city from its predecessor that had been wiped 
from the earth by successive conflagrations. 
Stone and brick buildings covered the former 
site of wooden structures. The unsightly mud 
flats between the wharves were filled in from the 
sand hills and some of the streets paved. The 
year 1853 was memorable for the rapid progress 
of the city. Assessed property values increased 
from $18,000,000 to $28,000,000. Real estate 
values went soaring upward and the city was on 
the high tide of prosperity; but a reaction came 
in 1855. The rush to the mines had ceased, im- 
migration had fallen off, and men had begun to 
retrench and settle down to steady business 
habits. Hume productions had replaced im- 
ports, and the people were abandoning mining 
for farms. The transition from gold mining to 
grain growing had begun. All these affected 
the city and real estate declined. Lots that sold 
fur to $10,000 in 1853 could be bought 
for half that amount in 1855. Out of one thou- 
sand business houses, three hundred were va- 
cant. Another influence that helped to bring 
about a depression was the growing political 

corruption and the increased taxation from pec- 
ulations of dishonest officials. 

The defalcations and forgeries of Harry 
Meigs, which occurred in 1854, were a terrible 
blow to the city. Meigs was one of its most 
trusted citizens. He was regarded as the em- 
bodiment of integrity, the stern, incorruptible 
man, the watch-dog of the treasury. By his 
upright conduct he had earned the sobriquet of 
Honest Harry Meigs. Over-speculation and 
reaction from the boom of 1853 embarrassed 
him. He forged a large amount of city scrip 
and hypothecated it to raise money. His forger- 
ies were suspected, but before the truth was 
known he made his escape on the barque 
America to Costa Rica and from there he made 
his way to Peru. His forgeries amounted to 
$1,500,000, of which $1,000,000 was in comp- 
troller's warrants, to which he forged the names 
of Mayor Garrison and Controller Harris. The 
vigilance committee of 1856 cleared the political 
atmosphere by clearing the city, by means of 
hemp and deportation, of a number of bad 
characters. The city was just beginning to re- 
gain its former prosperity when the Frazer river 
excitement brought about a temporary depres- 
sion. The wild rush carried away about one- 
sixth of its population. These all came back 
again, poorer and perhaps wiser; at least, their 
necessities compelled them to go to work and 
weaned them somewhat of their extravagant 
habits and their disinclination to work except for 
the large returns of earlier days. Since 1857 the 
growth of the city has been steady, unmarked 
by real estate booms: nor has it been retarded 
by long periods of financial depression. 



THERE was hut little crime in California 
anion- its white inhabitants during the 
Spanish and Mexican eras <>f its history. 
The conditions were not conducive to the de- 
. nt of a criminal element. The inhabit- 
ants were a pastoral people, pursuing an out- 
door vocation, and there were no large towns 
or cities where the viciously inclined could con- 

gregate and find a place of refuge from justice. 
"From 1819 to 1846. that is. during the entire 
period of Mexican domination under the Repub- 
lic," says Bancroft, "there were but six murders 
among the whites in all California." There were 
no lyuchings, no mobs, unless some of the rev- 
olutionary uprisings might be called such, and 
hut one vigilance committee. 


San Francisco is credited with the origin of 
that form of popular tribunal known as the vigi- 
lance committee. The name "vigilance com- 
mittee" originated with the uprising, in 1851, of 
the people of that city against the criminal cle- 
ment; but, years before there was a city of San 
Francisco, Los Angeles had originated a tri- 
bunal of the people, had taken criminals from 
the lawfully constituted authorities and had tried 
and executed them. The causes which called 
into existence the first vigilance committee in 
California were similar to those that created the 
later ones, namely, laxity in the administration 
of the laws and distrust in the integrity of 
those chosen to administer them. During the 
"decade of revolutions," that is, between 1830 
and 1840, the frequent change of rulers and the 
struggles of the different factions for power en- 
gendered in the masses a disregard, not only 
for their rulers, but for law and order as well. 
Criminals escaped punishment through the 
law's delays. Xo court in California had power 
to pass sentence of death on a civilian until its 
findings had been approved by the superior tri- 
bunal of Mexico. In the slow and tedious proc- 
esses of the different courts, a criminal stood a 
good show of dying of old age before his case 
reached final adjudication. The first committee 
of vigilance in California was organized at Los 
Angeles, in the house of Juan Temple. April 7, 
1836. It was called "Junta Defensora de La 
Seguridad Publica," United Defenders of the 
Public Security (or safety). Its motto, which ap- 
pears in the heading of its "acta," and is there 
credited as a quotation from Montesquieu's Ex- 
position of the Laws, Book 26, Chapter 23, was, 
"Salus populi suprema lex est" (The safely of 
the people is the supreme law). There is a 
marked similarity between the proceedings of 
the Junta Defensora of 1836 and the San Fran- 
cisco vigilance committee of 1856: it is not 
probable, however, that any of the actors in the 
latter committee participated in the former. 
Although there is quite a full account of the 
proceedings of the Junta Defensora in the Los 
Angeles city archives, no historian heretofore 
except Bancroft seems to have found it. 

The circumstances which brought about the 
organization of the lunta Defensora are as fol- 

lows: The wife of Domingo Feliz (part owner 
of the Los Feliz Rancho), who bore the poet- 
ical name of Maria del Rosario Villa, became 
infatuated with a handsome but disreputable 
Sonorau vaquero, Gervacio Alispaz by name. 
She abandoned her husband and lived with Alis- 
paz as his mistress at San Gabriel. Feliz sought 
to reclaim his erring wife, but was met by in- 
sults and abuse from her paramour, whom he 
once wounded in a personal altercation. Feliz 
finally invoked the aid of the authorities. The 
woman was arrested and brought to town. A 
reconciliation was effected between the husband 
and wife. Two days later they left town for the 
rancho, both riding one horse. On the way 
they were met by Alispaz, and in a personal en- 
counter Feliz was stabbed to death by the wife's 
paramour. The body was dragged into a ra- 
vine and covered with brush and leaves. Next 
day, March 29, the body was found and brought 
to the city. The murderer and the woman were 
arrested and imprisoned. The people were filled 
with horror and indignation, and there were 
threats of summary vengeance, but better coun- 
sel prevailed. 

On the 30th the funeral of Feliz took place, 
and, like that of James King of William, twenty 
years later, was the occasion for the renewal of 
the outcry for vengeance. The attitude of the 
people became so threatening that on the 1st 
of April an extraordinary session of the avun- 
tamiento was held. A call was made upon the 
citizens to form an organization to preserve the 
peace. A considerable number responded and 
were formed into military patrols under the 
command of Don Juan P.. Leandry. The illus- 
trious ayuntamiento resolved "that win mi 
shall disturb the public tranquillit) shall be pun- 
ished according to law." The excitement ap- 
parentl) died out. bul it was only the calm that 
precedes tin- storm. The beginning of the 
Easter ceremonies was at hand, and it was 
deemed a sacrilege to execute the assassins in 
hoi) week, so all further attempts at punishment 
vere deferred until April 7. the Monday after 
Easter, when at dawn. 1>\ previous undei 
ing. a number of the better class of citizens met 
at the house of Juan Temple, which stood on 
the present site of the Downey Block. An or- 


ganization was effected. Victor Prudon, a na- 
tive of Breton, France, but a naturalized citizen 
of ( alifornia, was elected president; Manuel 
Arzaga, a native of California, was elected sec- 
retary, and Francisco Araujo, a retired army 
. was placed in command of the armed 
force. Speeches were made by Prudon, and by 
the military commandant and others, setting 
forth the necessity of their organization and jus- 
tifying their actions. It was unanimously de- 
cided that both the man and the woman should 
be shot; their guilt being evident, no trial was 
deemed necessary. 

An address to the authorities and the people 
was formulated. A copy of this is preserved in 
the city archives. It abounds in metaphors. 
It is too long for insertion here. I make a few 
extracts: " : :: Believing that immorality 

has reached such an extreme that public secur- 
ity is menaced and will be lost if the dike of a 
solemn example is not opposed to the torrent 
of atrocious perfidy, we demand of you that you 
execute or deliver to us for immediate execution 
the assassin, Gervacio Alispaz, ami the unfaith- 
ful Maria del Rosario Villa, his accomplice. 
'" * * Nature trembles at the sight of these 
venomous reptiles and the soil turns barren in 
its refusal to support their detestable existence. 
Let the infernal pair perish! It is the will of the 
people. We will not lay down our arms until our 
petition is granted and the murderers are exe- 
cuted. The proof of their guilt is so clear that 
justice needs no investigation. Public vengeance 
demands an example and it must be given. The 
blood of the Alvarez, of the Patinos, of the 
Jenkins, is not yet cold — they, too, being the 
unfortunate victims of the brutal passions of 
their murderers. Their bloody ghosts shriek 
for vengeance. Their terrible voices re-echo 
from their graves. The afflicted widow, the for- 
saken orphan, the aged father, the brother in 
mourning, the inconsolable mother, the public 
— all demand speed)- punishment of the guilty. 
We -wear that outraged justice shall be avenged 
to-day or we shall die in the attempt. The blood 
- if ill.' mui di i it shall he sh< d to da) or ours 
will be to the last drop. It will be published 
the world that judges in Los An- 
geles tolerate murderers, but that there are 

virtuous citizens who sacrifice their lives in 
order to preserve those of their countrymen." 

"A committee will deliver to the First Consti- 
tutional Alcalde a copy of these resolutions, 
that he may decide whatever he finds most con- 
venient, and one hour's time will be given him 
in which to do so. If in that time no answer has 
been received, then the judge will be responsible 
before God and man for what will follow. Death 
to the murderers! 

"God and liberty. Angeles. April 7, 1836." 

Fifty-five signatures are attached to this doc- 
ument; fourteen of these are those of natural- 
ized foreigners and the remainder those of na- 
tive Californians. The junta was made up of 
the best citizens, native and foreign. An extraor- 
dinary session of the ayuntamiento was called. 
The members of the junta, fully armed, marched 
to the city hall to await the decision of the 
authorities. The petition was discussed in the 
council, and, in the language of the archives: 
"This Illustrious Body decided to call said 
Breton Prudon to appear before it and to com- 
pel him to retire with the armed citizens so that 
this Illustrious Body may deliberate at liberty." 

"This was done, but he declined to appear 
before this body, as he and the armed citizens 
were determined to obtain Gervacio Alispaz and 
Maria del Rosario Villa. The ayuntamiento 
decided that as it had not sufficient force to 
compel the armed citizens to disband, they 
being in large numbers and composed of the 
best and most respectable men of the town, to 
send an answer saying that the judges could 
not accede to the demand of the armed citi- 

The members of the Junta Defensora then 
marched in a body to the jail and demanded the 
keys of the guard. These were refused. The 
keys were secured by force and Gervacio Alispaz 
taken out and shot. The following demand was 
then sent to the first alcalde, Manuel Requena: 

"It is absolutely necessary that you deliver 
to this junta the key of the apartment where 
Maria del Rosario Villa is kept. 

"God and libertj 

"Victor Prudon, President. 
"Manuel Arzaga. Secretarv." 



To this the alcaide replied: "Maria del Rosa- 
rio Villa is incarcerated at a private dwelling, 
whose owner has the key, with instructions not 
to deliver the same to any one. The prisoner is 
left there at the disposition of the law only. 

"God and liberty. 

"Manuel Requena, Alcalde." 

The key was obtained. The wretched Maria 
was taken to the place of execution on a car- 
reta and shot. The bodies of the guilty pair 
were brought back to the jail and the following 
communication sent to the alcalde: 

"Junta of the Defenders of Public Safety. 

"To the i st Constitutional Alcalde: 
"The dead bodies of Gervacio Alispaz and 
Maria del Rosario Villa are at your disposal. 
We also forward you the jail keys that you may 
deliver them to whomsoever is on guard. In 
case you are in need of men to serve as guards, 
we are all at your disposal. 

"God and liberty. Angeles, April 7, 1836. 
"Victor Prudon, Pres. 
"Manuel Arzaga, Sec." 

A few days later the Junta Defensora de La 
Seguridad Publica disbanded: and so ended the 
only instance in the seventy-five years of Span- 
ish and Mexican rule in California, of the people, 
by popular tribunal, taking the administration of 
justice out of the hands of the legally consti- 
tuted authorities. 

The tales of the fabulous richness of the gold 
fields of California were quickly spread through- 
out the world and drew to the territory all 
classes and conditions of men, the bad as well 
as the good, the vicious as well as the virtuous; 
the indolent, the profligate and the criminal 
came to prey upon the industrious. These con- 
glomerate elements of society found the Land 
of Gold practically without law, and the vicious 
among them were not long in making it a land 
without order. With that inherent trait, which 
makes the Anglo-Saxon wherever he may be 
an organizer, the American element of the gold 
seekers soon adjusted a form of government to 
suit the exigencies of the land and the people. 
There may have been too much lynching, too 
much vigilance committee in it and too little 

respect for lawfully constituted authorities, but 
it was effective and was suited to the social 
conditions existing. 

In 1851 the criminal element became so dom- 
inant as to seriously threaten the existence of 
the chief city, San Francisco. Terrible conflagra- 
tions had swept over the city in May and June 
of that year and destroyed the greater part of 
the business portion. The fires were known to 
be of incendiary origin. The bold and defiant 
attitude of the vicious classes led to the or- 
ganization by the better element, of that form 
of popular tribunal called a committee of vigi- 
lance. The law abiding element among the cit- 
izens disregarding the legally constituted 
authorities, who were either too weak or too 
corrupt to control the law-defying, took the 
power in their own hands, organized a vigilance 
committee and tried and executed by hanging 
four notorious criminals, namely: Jenkins, 
Stuart, Whitaker and McKenzie. 

During the proceedings of the vigilance com- 
mittee a case of mistaken identity came near 
costing an innocent man his life. About 8 
o'clock in the evening of February 18, two men 
entered the store of a Mr. Jansen on Mont- 
gomery street and asked to see some blankets. 
As the merchant stooped to get the blankets 
one of the men struck him with a sling shot and 
both of them beat him into insensibility. They 
then opened his desk and carried away all the 
gold they could find, about $2,000. The police 
arrested two men on suspicion of being the rob- 
bers. One of the men was identified as James 
Stuart, a noted criminal, who had murdered 
Sheriff Moore at Auburn. He gave the name of 
Thomas Burdue, but this was believed to be one 
of Stuart's numerous aliases. The men were 
identified by Mr. Jansen as his assailants. They 
were put on trial. When the court adjourned 
over to the next day a determined effort was 
made by the crowd to seize the men and hang 
them. The_\' were finally taken out of the hands 
of the officers and given a trial by a jury selected 
by a committee of citizens. The jury failed to 
agree, three of the jury being convinced that 
the men were nol Jansen's assailants. Then the 
mob made a rush to hang tlu- jury, but were 
kept back by a show of revolvers. The prison- 


ers were turned over to the court. One of 
them, Wildred, broke jail and escaped. Burdue 
was tried, convicted and sentenced to fourteen 
years' imprisonment. Before the sentence of 
the court was executed he was taken to Marys- 
villc and arraigned for the murder of Sheriff 
Moore. A number of witnesses swore positively 
that the man was Stuart; others swore even more 
positively that he was not. A close examination 
revealed that the prisoner bore every distin- 
guishing mark on his person by which Stuart 
could be identified. He was convicted and sen- 
tenced to be hanged in thirty days. In the mean- 
time the vigilance committee of 1856 was or- 
ganized and the real Stuart accidentally fell into 
the hands of the vigilantes at San Francisco. 
He was arrested for a theft he had not com- 
mitted and recognized by one of the committee's 
guards that he had formerly employed in the 
mines. By adroit questioning he was forced to 
confess that he was the real Stuart, the murderer 
of Sheriff Moore and the assailant of Jansen. 
His confederate in the robbery was Whitaker, 
one of the four hanged by the committee. Bur- 
due was finally released, after having twice 
stood under the shadow- of the gallows for the 
crimes of his double. The confessions of Stuart 
and Whitaker implicated a number of their pals. 
Some of these were convicted and sent to prison 
and others fled the country; about thirty were 
banished. Nearly all of the criminals were ex- 
convicts from Australia and Tasmania. 

The vigorous measures adopted by the com- 
mittee purified the city of the vicious class that 
had preyed upon it. Several of the smaller 
towns and some of the mining camps organized 
vigilance committees and a number of the 
knaves who had (led from San Francisco met a 
deserved fate in other places. 

In the early '50s the better elements of San 
Francisco's population were so engrossed in 
business that they had no time to spare to look 
after its political affairs; and its government 
gradually drifted into the hands of vicious and 
corrupt men. Many of the city authorities had 
obtained their offices by fraud and ballot stuf- 
fing and "instead of protecting the community 
against scoundrels they protected tin- scoundrels 
against the community." James King of Will 

iam, an ex-banker and a man of great courage 
and persistence, started a small paper called 
the Daily Evening Bulletin. He vigorously as- 
sailed the criminal elements and the city and 
county officials. His denunciations aroused pub- 
lic sentiment. The murder of United States 
.Marshal Richardson by a gambler named Cora 
still further inflamed the public mind. It was 
feared that by the connivance of some of the 
corrupt county officials Cora would escape pun- 
ishment. His trial resulted in a hung jury. 
There was a suspicion that some of the jury- 
men were bribed. King continued through the 
Bulletin to hurl his most bitter invectives against 
the. corrupt officials. They determined to silence 
him. He published the fact that James Casey, 
a supervisor from the twelfth ward, was an ex- 
convict of Sing Sing prison. Casey waylaid 
King at the corner of Montgomery and Wash- 
ington streets and in a cowardly manner shot 
him down. The shooting occurred on the 14th 
of May, 1856. Casey immediately surrendered 
himself to a deputy sheriff, Lafayete M. Byrne, 
who was near. King was not killed, but an ex- 
amination of the wound by the physicians de- 
cided that there was no hopes of his recovery. 
Casey was conducted to the city prison and as 
a mob began to gather, for greater safety he 
was taken to the county jail. A crowd pursued 
him crying, "Hang him," "kill him." At the 
jail the mob was stopped by an array of deputy- 
sheriffs, police officers and a number of Casey's 
friends, all armed. The excitement spread 
throughout the city. The old vigilance com- 
mittee of 185 1, or rather a new organization out 
of the remnant of the old. was formed. Five 
thousand men were enrolled in a few days. 
Arms were procured and headquarters estab- 
lished on Sacramento street between Davis and 
Front. The men were divided into companies. 
William T. Coleman, chairman of the vigilance 
committee of 1851, was made president or No. 1, 
and [saac Bluxome, Jr., the secretary, was No. 
33. Each man was known by number. Charles 
Doane was elected chief marshal of the military 

divisii 'II. 

The San Francisco Herald (edited by John 
Nugent), then the leading paper of the city, came 
out with a scathing editorial denouncing the 



vigilance committee. The merchants at once 
withdrew their advertising patronage. Next 
morning the paper appeared reduced from forty 
columns to a single page, but still hostile to the 
committee. It finally died for want of patron- 

On Sunday, May 18, 1856, the military di- 
vision was ready to storm the jail if necessary to 
obtain possession of the prisoners, Casey and 
Cora. The different companies, marching from 
their headquarters by certain prescribed routes, 
all reached the jail at the same time and com- 
pletely invested it. They had with them two 
pieces of artillery. One of these guns was 
planted so as to command the door of the jail. 
There were fifteen hundred vigilantes under 
arms. A demand was made on Sheriff Scannell 
for the prisoners, Cora and Casey. The prison 
guard made no resistance, the prisoners were 
surrendered and taken at once to the vigilantes' 

On the 20th of May the murderers were put 
on trial; while the trial was in progress the 
death of King was announced. Both men were 
convicted and sentenced to be hanged. King's 
funeral, the largest and most imposing ever seen 
in San Francisco, took place on the 23d. While 
the funeral cortege was passing through the 
streets Casey and Cora were hanged in front of 
the windows of the vigilance headquarters. 
About an hour before his execution Cora was 
married to a notorious courtesan, Arabella 
Ryan, but commonly called Belle Cora. A 
Catholic priest, Father Accolti, performed the 

Governor J. Xeely Johnson, who at first 
seemed inclined not to interfere with the vig- 
ilantes, afterwards acting under the advice of 
David S. Terry, Yolney E. Howard and others 
of dominant pro-slavery faction, issued a proc- 
lamation commanding the committee to disband, 
to which no attention was paid. The governor 
then appointed William T. Sherman major-gen- 
eral. Sherman called for recruits to suppress 
the uprising. Seventy-five or a hundred, mostly 
gamblers, responded to his call. General Wool, 
in command of the troops in the department of 
the Pacific, refused to loan Governor Johnson 
arms to equip his "law and order" recruits and 

General Sherman resigned. Yolney E. Howard 
was then appointed major-general. His princi- 
pal military service consisted in proclaiming 
what he would do to the "pork merchants" who 
constituted the committee. "He did nothing ex- 
cept to bluster. A squad of the vigilance po- 
lice attempted to arrest a man named Maloney. 
Maloney was at the time in the company of 
David S. Terry (then chief justice of the state) 
and several other members of the "law and or- 
der" party. They resisted the police and in the 
melee Terry stabbed the sergeant of the squad, 
Sterling A. Hopkins, and then he and his as- 
sociates made their escape to the armory of the 
San Francisco Blues, one of their strongholds. 

When the report of the stabbing reached 
headquarters the great bell sounded the alarm 
and the vigilantes in a very brief space of time 
surrounded the armory building and had their 
cannon planted to batter ft down. Terrv, Ma- 
loney, and the others of their party in the build- 
ing, considering discretion the better part of 
valor, surrendered and were at once taken to 
Fort Gunnybags," the vigilantes' headquarters. 
The arms of the "law and order" party at their 
various rendezvous were surrendered to the vig- 
ilantes and the companies disbanded. 

Terry was closely confined in a cell at the 
headquarters of the committee; Hopkins, after 
lingering some time between life and death, 
finally recovered. Terry was tried for assault 
on Hopkins and upon several other persons, was 
found guilty, but, after being held as a prisoner 
for some time, was finally released. He at once 
joined Johnson and Howard at Sacramento, 
where he felt much safer than in San Francisco. 
He gave the vigilantes no more trouble. 

On the 29th of July, Hethrington and Brace 
were hanged from a gallows erected on Davis 
street, between Sacramento and Commercial. 
Both of these men had committed murder. 
These were the last executions by the commit- 
tee. The committee transported from the state 
thirty disreputable characters and a number de- 
ported themselves. A few, and among them the 

*The vigilantes built around the building which they 
used for headquarters a breastwork made "i" gunny- 
sacks filled with sand. Cannon were planted at the 

corners of the redout, 



notorious Ned McGowan, managed to keep con- 
cealed until the storm was over. A few of the 
expatriated returned after the committee dis- 
solved and brought suit for damages, but failed 
to recover anything. The committee had paid 
the fare of the exiles. It was only the high 
toned rascals who were given a cabin passage 
that brought the suits. The committee finished 
its labors and dissolved with a grand parade on 
the i8th of August (.1856). It did a good work. 
For several years after, San Francisco from be- 
ing one of the worst, became one of the best 
governed cities in the L'nited States. The com- 
mittee was made up of men from the northern 
and western states. The so-called "law and 
order" party was mostly composed of the pro- 
slavery office-holding faction that ruled the state 
at that time. 

When the vigilance committees between 1851 
and 1856 drove disreputable characters from 
San Francisco and the northern mines, many of 
them drifted southward ami found a lodgment 
for a time in the southern cities and towns. Los 
Angeles was not far from the Mexican line, and 
any one who desired to escape from justice, 
fleet mounted, could speedily put himself be- 
yond the reach of his pursuers. All these 
causes and influences combined to produce a 
saturnalia of crime that disgraced that city in 
the early '50s. 

Gen. J. II. Bean, a prominent citizen of 
Southern California, while returning to Los An- 
geles from his place of business at San Gabriel 
late "lie evening in November, 1852, was at- 
tacked by two men, who had been lying in wait 
For him. One seized the bridle of his horse and 
jerked the animal back on his haunches; the 
1 itln r seized the general and pulled him from the 
saddle. Bean made a desperate resistance, but 
was overpowered and stabbed l<> death. The 
assassination of General Bean resulted in the 
organization of a vigilance committee and an 
effort was made to rid the country of desper- 
adoes. A number of arrests were made. Three 
ts were tried by the committee for various 
crimes. One, Cipiano Sandoval, a poor cob- 
bler of San Gabriel, was charged with complicity 
if the murder 1 if I leneral Bean. 1 le strenuously 

d that h 

other two, were sentenced to be hanged. On 
the following Sunday morning the doomed men 
were conducted to the top of Fort Hill, where 
the gallows stood. Sandoval made a* brief 
speech, again declaring his innocence. The 
others awaited their doom in silence. The trap 
fell and all were launched into eternity. Years 
afterward one of the real murderers on his 
deathbed revealed the truth and confessed his 
part in the crime. The poor cobbler was inno- 

In 1854 drunkenness, gambling, murder and 
all forms of immorality and crime were ram- 
pant in Los Angeles. The violent deaths, it is 
said, averaged one for every day in the year. It 
was a common question at the breakfast table, 
"Well, how many were killed last night?" Little 
or no attention was paid to the killing of an 
Indian or a half breed; it was only when a gente 
de razon was the victim that the community was 
aroused to action. 

The Kern river gold rush, in the winter of 
1854-55, brought from the northern mines fresh 
relays of gamblers and desperadoes and crime 
increased. The Southern Califomian of March 
7, 1855, commenting on the general lawlessness 
prevailing, says: "Last Sunday night was a 
brisk night for killing. Four men were shot 
and killed and several wounded in shooting af- 

A worthless fellow by the name of David 
Brown, who had, without provocation, killed a 
companion named Clifford, was tried and sen- 
tenced to be hanged with one Felipe Alvitre, a 
Mexican, who had murdered an American 
named Ellington, at El Monte. There was a 
feeling among the people that Brown, through 
quibbles of law, would escape the death penalty, 
and there was talk of lynching. Stephen C. 
Foster, the mayor, promised that if justice was 
not legally meted out to Brown by the law. then 
he would resign his office and head the lynching 
party. January 10, 1855, an order was received 
from Judge Murray, of the supreme court, stay- 
ing the execution of Brown, but leaving Alvitre 
to his fate. January 12 Alvitre was hanged by 
tlie sheriff in the jail yard in the presence of an 
immense crowd. The gallows were taken down 
and the guards dismissed. 'Idle crowd gathered 



outside the jail yard. Speeches were made. 
The mayor resigned his office and headed the 
mob. The doors of the jail were broken down; 
Brown was taken across Spring street to a 
large gateway opening into a corral and hanged 
from the crossbeam. Foster was re-elected by 
an almost unanimous vote at a special election. 
The city marshal, who had opposed the action 
of the vigilantes, was compelled to resign. 

During 1855 and 1856 lawlessness increased. 
There was an organized band of about one hun- 
dred Mexicans, who patroled the highways, 
robbing and murdering. They threatened the 
extermination of the Americans anil there were 
fears of a race war, for many who were not 
members of the gang sympathized with them. 
In 1856 a vigilance committee was organized 
with Myron Norton as president and II. N. 
Alexander as secretary. A number of dis- 
reputable characters were forced to leave town. 
The banditti, under their leaders, Pancho Dan- 
iel and Juan Flores, were plundering and com- 
mitting outrages in the neighborhood of San 
Juan Capistrano. 

On the night of January 22, 1857, Sheriff 
James R. Barton left Los Angeles with a posse, 
consisting of William II. Little, Charles K. 
Baker, Charles F. Daley, Alfred Hardy and 
Frank Alexander with the intention of captur- 
ing some of the robbers. At Sepulveda's ranch 
next morning the sheriff's party was warned that 
the robbers were some fifty strong, well armed 
and mounted, and would probably attack them. 
Twelve miles further the sheriff and his men en- 
countered a detachment of the banditti. A 
short, sharp engagement took place. Barton, 
Baker, Little and Daley were killed. Hard) and 
Alexander made their escape by the fleetness 
of their horses. When the news reached Los 
Angeles the excitement became intense. A 
public meeting was held to devise plans to rid 
the community not only of the roving gang of 
murderers, but also of the criminal classes in 
the city, who were known to be in sympathy 
with the banditti. All suspicious houses were 
searched and some fifty persons arrested. Sev- 
eral companies were organized; the infantry to 
guard the city and the mounted men to scour 
the country. Companies were also formed at 

San Bernardino and El Monte, while the mil- 
itary authorities at Fort Tejon and San Diego 
despatched soldiers to aid in the good work of 
exterminating crime and criminals. 

The robbers were pursued into the mountains 
and nearly all captured. Gen. Andres Pico, 
with a company of native Californians, was most 
efficient in the pursuit. He captured Silvas and 
Ardillero, two of the most noted of the gang, 
and hanged them where they were cap- 
tured. Fifty-two were lodged in the city jail. 
Of these, eleven were hanged for various crimes 
and the remainder set free. Juan Flores, one 
of the leaders, was condemned by popular vote 
and on February 14, 1857, was hanged near the 
top of Fort Hill in the presence of nearly the 
entire population of the town. He was only 
twenty-one years of age. Pancho Daniel, an- 
other of the leaders, was captured on the loth 
of January, 1858, near San Jose. He was found 
by the sheriff, concealed in a haystack. After 
his arrest he was part of the time in jail and part 
of the time out on bail. He had been tried three 
times, but through law quibbles had escaped 
conviction. A change of venue to Santa Bar- 
bara had been granted. The people determined 
to take the law in their own hands. On the 
morning of November 30, 1858. the bod) of 
Pancho was hanging from a beam across the 
gateway of the jail yard. Four of the banditti 
were executed by the people of San Gabriel, 
and Leonardo Lopez, under sentence of the 
court, was hanged by the sheriff. The gang was 
broken up and the moral atmosphere of Los 
Angeles somewhat purified. 

November 17, 1862, John Rains of Cuca- 
monga ranch was murdered near Azusa. De- 
cember 0. 1803, the sheriff was taking Manuel 
Cerradel to San Quentin to serve a ten years' 
sentence. When the sheriff went aboard the tug 
boat Cricket at Wilmington, to proceed to the 
Senator, quite a number of other persons took 
passage. On the way down the harbor, the 
prisoner was seized by the passengers, who 
were vigilantes, and hanged to the rigging; after 
hanging twenty minute- the body was taken 
down, stones tied to the feet and it was thrown 
overboard. Cerradel was implicated in the mur- 
der of Rains. 


In the fall of 1863 lawlessness had again be- 
come rampant in Los Angeles; one of the chiefs 
of the criminal class was a desperado by the 
name of Boston Daimwood. He was suspected 
of the murder of a miner on the desert 
and was loud in his threats against the lives 
of various citizens. He and four other well- 
known criminals, Wood, Chase, Ybarra and 
Olivas, all of whom were either murder- 
ers or horse thieves, were lodged in jail. On 
the 21st of November two hundred armed 
citizens battered down the doors of the jail, 
took the five wretches out and hanged them to 
the portico of the old court house on Spring 
street, which stood on the present site of the 
Phillips block. 

On the 24th of October, 1871. occurred in 
Los Angeles a most disgraceful affair, known 
as the Chinese massacre. It grew out of one 
of those interminable feuds between rival 
tongs of highbinders, over a woman. Desul- 
tory firing had been kept up between the rival 
factions throughout the day. About 5:30 p. m. 
Policeman Bilderrain visited the seat of war, an 
old adobe house on the corner of Arcadia street 
and "Nigger alley," known as the Coronel build- 
ing. Finding himself unable to quell the dis- 
turbance he called for help. Robert Thompson, 
an old resident of the city, was among the first 
to reach the porch of the house in answer to the 
police call for help. He received a mortal wound 
from a bullet fired through the door of a Chi- 
nese store. He died an hour later in Woll- 
drug store. The Chinese in the mean- 
time barricaded the doors and windows of the 
old adobe and prepared for battle. The news 
of the fight and of the killing of Thompson 
spread throughout the city and an immense 
crowd gathered in the streets around the build- 
ing with the intention of wreaking vengeance on 
the ( Chinese. 

The first attempt by the mob to dislodge the 
Chinamen was by cutting holes through the flat 
brea covered roof and firing pistol shots into the 
interior .if the building. < hie of tin- besieged 
crawled out of the building and attempted to 
escape, but was shot down before half way 

' h '.'I., all. v. \in ither attempted to e 
cape into l.o. Angeles street; In- was seized, 

dragged to the gate of Tomlinson's corral on 
Xew High street, and hanged. 

About 9 o'clock a part of the mob had suc- 
ceeded in battering a hole in the eastern end of 
the building; through this the rioters, with 
demoniac howlings, rushed in, firing pistols to 
the right and left. Huddled in corners and hid- 
den behind boxes they found eight terror- 
stricken Chinamen, who begged piteously for 
their lives. These were brutally dragged out 
ami turned over to the fiendish mob. One was 
dragged to death by a rope around his neck ; 
three, more dead than alive from kicking and 
beating, were hanged to a wagon on Los An- 
geles street; and four were hanged to the gate- 
way of Tomlinson's corral. Two of the victims 
were mere boys. While the shootings and hang- 
ings were going on thieves were looting the 
other houses in the Chinese quarters. The 
houses were broken into, trunks, boxes and 
other receptacles rifled of their contents, and 
any Chinamen found in the buildings were 
dragged forth to slaughter. Among the vic- 
tims was a doctor, Gene Tung, a quiet, inof- 
fensive old man. He pleaded for his life in good 
English, offering his captors all his money, 
some $2,000 to $3,000. He was hanged, his 
money stolen and one of his fingers cut off to 
obtain a ring he wore. The amount of money 
stolen by the mob from the Chinese quarters 
was variously estimated at from $40,000 to 

About 9:30 p. m. the law abiding citizens, 
under the leadership of Henry Hazard, R. M. 
Widney, H. C. Austin, Sheriff Burns and oth- 
ers, had rallied in sufficient force to make an 
attempt to quell the mob. Proceeding to China- 
town they rescued several Chinamen from the 
rioters. The mob finding armed opposition 
quickly dispersed. 

The results of the mob's murderous work 
were ten men hanged on Los Angeles street, 
some to wagons and some to awnings: five 
hanged, ai Tomlinson's corral and four shot to 
death in Negro alley, nineteen in all. Of all the 
Chinamen murdered, the only one known to be 
implicated in the highbinder war was Ah Choy. 
All the other leaders escaped to the country 
before the attack was made by the mob. The 



grand jury, after weeks of investigation, found 
indictments against one hundred and fifty per- 
sons alleged to have been actively engaged in 
the massacre. The jury's report severely cen- 
sured "the officers of this county, as well as of 
this city, whose duty it is to preserve peace," 
and declared that they "were deplorably ineffi- 
cient in the performance of their duty during 
the scenes of confusion and bloodshed which 
disgraced our city, and has cast a reproach upon 
the people of Los Angeles county." Of all those 
indicted but six were convicted. These were 
sentenced to from four to six years in the state's 
prison, but through some legal technicality they 
were all released after serving a part of their 
sentence. • 

The last execution in Los Angeles by a vig- 
ilance committee was that of Michael Lachenias, 
a French desperado, who had killed five or six 
men. The offense for which he was hanged was 
the murder of Jacob Bell, a little inoffensive 
man, who owned a small farm near that of 
Lachenias, south of the city. There hail been 
a slight difference between them in regard to 
the use of water from a zanja. Lachenias, with- 
out a word of warning, rode up to Bell, where 
he was at work in his field, drew a revolver and 
shot him dead. The murderer then rode into 
town and boastingly informed the people of 
what he had done and told them where they 
would find Bell's body. He then surrendered 
himself to the officers and was locked up in 

Public indignation was aroused. A meeting 
was held in Stearns' hall on Los Angeles street. 
A vigilance committee was formed and the de- 
tails of the execution planned. On the morning 
of the 17th of December, 1870, a body of three 
hundred armed men marched to the jail, took 
Lachenias out and proceeded with him to Tom- 
linson's corral on Temple and New High streets. 
and hanged him. The crowd then quietly dis- 

A strange metamorphosis took place in the 
character of the lower classes of the native Cal- 
ifornians after the conquest. (The better classes 
were not changed in character by the changed 
conditions of the country, but throughout were 
true gentlemen and most worth) and honorable 

citizens.) Before the conquest by the Ameri- 
cans they were a peaceful and contented people. 
1 here were no organized bands of outlaws 
among them. After the discovery of gold the 
evolution of a banditti began and they produced 
some of the boldest robbers and most daring 
highwaymen the world has seen. 

The injustice of their conquerors had much to 
do with producing this change. The Ameri- 
cans not only took possession of their country 
and its government, but in many cases they de- 
spoiled them of their ancestral acres and their 
personal property. Injustice rankles; and it is 
not strange that the more lawless among the 
native population sought revenge and retalia- 
tion. They were often treated by the rougher 
American element as aliens and intruders, who 
had no right in the land of their birth. Such 
treatment embittered them more than loss of 
property. There were those, howevtr, among 
the natives, who, once entered upon a career 
of crime, found robbery and murder congenial 
occupations. The plea of injustice was no ex- 
tenuation for their crimes. 

Joaquin Murieta was the most noted of the 
.Mexican and Californian desperadoes of the 
early '50s. He was born in Sonora of good fam- 
ily and received some education. He came to 
California with the Sonoran migration of 1849, 
and secured a rich claim on the Stanislaus. He 
was dispossessed of this by half a dozen Amer- 
ican desperadoes, his wife abused and both 
driven from the diggings. He next took up a 
ranch on the Calaveras, but from this he was 
driven by two Americans. He next tried min- 
ing in the Murphy diggings, but was unsuccess- 
ful. His next occupation was that of a monte 
player. While riding into town on a horse bor- 
rowed from his half-brother he was stopped by 
an American, who claimed that the horse was 
stolen from him. Joaquin protested that the 
horse was a borrowed one from his half-brother 
and offered to procure witnesses to prove it. 
lie was dragged from the saddle amid cries of 
"hang the greaser." He was taken to the ranch 
.if hi- In-other. The brother was hanged to the 
limb of a tree, 11. > other proof of his crime being 
needed than the assertion of the American that 
the horse was hi-. Joaquin was stripped, bound 



to the same tree and flogged. The demon was 
aroused within him, and no wonder, he vowed 
revenge on the men who had murdered his 
brother and beaten him. Faithfully he carried 
out his vow of vengeance. Had he doomed 
only these to slaughter it would have been but 
little loss, but the implacable foe of every 
American, he made the innocent suffer with the 
guilty. He was soon at the head of a band of 
desperadoes, varying in numbers from twenty to 
forty. For three years he and his band were the 
terror of the state. From the northern mines 
to the Mexican border they committed robberies 
and murders. Claudio and some of his sub- 
ordinates were killed, but the robber chief 
seemed to bear a charmed life. Large rewards 
were offered for him dead or alive and numerous 
attempts were made to take him. Capt. Harry 
Love at the head of a band of rangers August, 
1853, car* upon Joaquin and six of his gang 
in a camp near the Tejon Pass. In the fight that 
ensued Joaquin and Three Fingered Jack were 
killed. With the loss of their leaders the or- 
ganization was broken up. 

The last organized band of robbers which 
terrorized the southern part of the state was 
that of Vasquez. Tiburcio Vasquez was born 
in Monterey county, of .Mexican parents, in 
1837. Early in life he began a career of crime. 
Alter committing a number of robberies and 
thefts he was captured and sent to San Quentin 
for horse stealing. He was discharged in 1863, 
but continued his disreputable career. He 
united with Procopio and Soto, two noted ban- 
dits. Soto was killed by Sheriff Morse of Ala- 
meda county in a desperate encounter. Vasquez 
and his gang of nut laws committed robberies 
throughout the southern part of the state, rang- 
ing from Santa Clara and Alameda counties to 
Lh: Mexitan line, l.arlv in M tv 1874, Sheriff 
William Rowland of Los Angeles county, who 
had repeate<ll\ tried to capture Vasquez, but 
whose plans had been foiled by the bandit's 

spies, learned that the robber chief was mak- 
ing his headquarters at the house of Greek 
George, about ten miles due west of Los An- 
geles, toward Santa Monica, in a canon of the 
Cahuenga mountains. The morning of May 15 
was set for the attack. To avert suspicion 
Sheriff Rowland remained in the city. The at- 
tacking force, eight in number, were under 
command of Under-Sheriff Albert Johnson, the 
other members of the force were Major H. M. 
Mitchell, attorney-at-law; J. S. Bryant, city con- 
stable; F. Harris, policeman; W. E. Rogers, 
citizen; B. F. Hartley, chief of police; and D. 
K. Smith, citizen, all of Los Angeles, and a Mr. 
r>eers, of San Francisco, special correspondent 
of the San Francisco Chronicle. 

At 4 a. m. on the morning of the 15th of May 
the posse reached Major -Mitchell's bee ranch 
in a small canon not far from Greek George's. 
From this point the party reconnoitered the 
bandit's hiding place and planned an attack. As 
the deputy sheriff and his men were about to 
move against the house a high box wagon drove 
up the canon from the direction of Greek 
George's place. In this were two natives; the 
sheriff's party climbed into the high wagon box 
and, lying down, compelled the driver to drive 
up to the back of Greek George's house, 
threatening him and his companion with death 
on the least sign of treachery. Reaching the 
house they surrounded it and burst in the door. 
Vasquez, who had been eating his breakfast, at- 
tempted to escape through a small window. 
The party opened fire on him. Being wounded 
and finding himself surrounded on all sides, he 
surrendered. He was taken to the Los Angeles 
jail. His injuries proved to be mere flesh 
wounds. He received a great deal of maudlin 
sympathy from silly women, who magnified him 
into a hero. He was taken to San Jose, tried 
for murder, found guilty and hanged, March 19, 
1875. His band was thereupon broken up and 




THE rash of immigration to California in 
the early '50s had brought to the state 
a class of adventurers who were too 
lazy or too proud to work. They were ready 
to engage in almost any lawdess undertaking 
that promised plunder and adventure. The de- 
feat of the pro-slavery politicians in their at- 
tempts to fasten their "peculiar institution" upon 
any part of the territory acquired from Mex- 
ico had embittered them. The more un- 
scrupulous among them began to look around 
for new fields, over which slavery might be ex- 
tended. As it could be made profitable only in 
southern lands, Cuba, Mexico and Central 
America became the arenas for enacting that 
form of piracy called "filibustering." The object 
of these forays, when organized by Americans. 
was to seize upon territory as had been done 
in Texas and erect it into an independent gov- 
ernment that ultimately would be annexed to 
the United States and become slave territory. 
Although the armed invasion of countries with 
which the United States was at peace was a di- 
rect violation of its neutrality laws, yet the fed- 
eral office-holders in the southern states and in 
California, all of whom belonged to the pro- 
slavery faction, not only made no attempt to 
prevent these invasions, but secretly aided them 
or at least sympathized with them to the extent 
of allowing them to recruit men and depart 
without molestation. There was a glamour of 
romance about these expeditions that influenced 
unthinking young men of no fixed principles 
to join them; these were to be pitied. But the 
leaders of them and their abettors were cold, 
selfish, scheming politicians, willing, if need be, 
to overthrow the government of the nation and 
build on its ruins an oligarchy of slave holders. 
The first to organize a filibuster expedition in 
California was a Frenchman. Race prejudices 
were strong in early mining days. The United 

States had recently been at war with Mexico. 
The easy conquest of that country had bred a 
contempt for its peoples. The Sonoran migra- 
tion, that begun soon after the discovery of 
gold in California, brought a very undesirable 
class of immigrants to the state. Sailing vessels 
had brought from the west coast of South 
America another despised class of mongrel 
Spanish. It exasperated the Americans to see 
these people digging gold and carrying it out 
of the country. This antagonism extended, more 
or less, to all foreigners, but was strongest 
against men of the Latin races. Many French- 
men, through emigration schemes gotten up 
in Paris, had been induced to come to Califor- 
nia. Some of these were men of education and 
good standing, but they fell under the ban of 
prejudices and by petty persecutions were 
driven out of the mines and forced to earn a 
precarious living in the cities. There was a 
great deal of dissatisfaction among the French- 
men with existing conditions in California, and 
they were ready to embark in any scheme that 
promised greater rewards. Among the French 
population of San Francisco was a man of noble 
family, Count Gaston Roaul de Raousset-Boul- 
bon. He had lost his ancestral lands and was 
in reduced circumstances. He was a man of 
education and ability, but visionary. He con- 
ceived the idea of establishing a French colony 
on the Sonora bonier and opening the mines 
that had been abandoned on account of Apache 
depredations. By colonizing the border he 
hoped to put a M<>p t<> American encroachi 
He divulged his scheme to the French consul, 
Dillon, at San Francisco, who entered heartily 
into it. Raoussel was sent to the City of Mex- 
ico, where he obtained from President Arista 
the desired concession of land and the promise 
of financial assistance from a leading hanking 
house there on condition that he proceed at 



once to Sonora with an armed company of 
Frenchmen. Returning to San Francisco he 
quickly recruited from among the French resi- 
dents two hundred and fifty men and with these 
he sailed for Guaymas, where he arrived early 
in June, 1852. He was well received at first, 
but soon found himself regarded with suspicion. 
He was required by the authorities to remain 
at Guaymas. After a month's detention he was 
allowed to proceed through Hermosilla to the 
Arizona border. 

When about one hundred miles from Arispe 
he received an order from General Blanco, then 
at Hermosilla, to report to him. While halting 
at El Caric to consider his next move he re- 
ceived a reinforcement of about eighty French 
colonists, who had come to the country the year 
before under command of Pindray. Pindray 
had met his death in a mysterious manner. B 
was supposed that he was poisoned. The colon- 
ist had remained in the country. Raousset sent 
one of his men. Gamier, to interview Blanco. 
General Blanco gave his ultimatum — First, that 
the Frenchmen should become naturalized citi- 
zens of Mexico; or, secondly, they should wait 
until letters of security could be procured from 
the capital, when they might proceed to Arizona 
and take possession of any mines they found; 
or, lastly, they might put themselves under the 
leadership of a Mexican officer and then proceed. 
Raousset and his followers refused to accede to 
an\ of these propositions. Blanco began col- 
lecting men and munitions of war to oppose the 
French. Raousset raised the flag of revolt and 
invited the inhabitants to join him in gaining 
the independence of Sonora. After drilling his 
men a few weeks and preparing for hostilities 
he began his march against Hermosilla, distant 
one hundred and fifty miles. He met with no 
ion, the people along his route welcom- 
ing the French. General Blanco had twelve 
hundred men to defend the city. I'm instead of 
preparing to resist the advancing army he sent 
delegates t" Raousset to offer him monej 
the city alone. Raousset sent back word thai 
at X o'clock he would begin the attack; and at 
11 would be master of the city, lie was, 
as his word. The Frenchmen charged the Mex 
irans and although the opposing force num 

bered four to one of the assailants, Raousset's 
men captured the town and drove Blanco's 
troops out of it. The Mexican loss was two 
hundred killed and wounded. The French loss 
seventeen killed and twenty-three wounded 
Raousset's men were mere adventurers and were 
in the country without any definite purpose. 
Could he have relied on them, he might have 
captured all of Sonora. 

He abandoned Hermosilla. Blanco, glad to 
get rid of the filibusters on any terms, raised 
$11,000 and chartered a vessel to carry them 
back to San Francisco. A few elected to re- 
main. Raousset went to Mazatlan and a few 
months later he reached San Francisco, where 
he was lionized as a hero. Upon an invitation 
from Santa Ana, wdio had succeeded Arista as 
president, he again visited the Mexican capital 
in June, 1853. Santa Ana was profuse in prom- 
ises. He wanted Raousset to recruit five hun- 
dred Frenchmen to protect the Sonora frontier 
against the Indians, promising ample remunera- 
tion and good pay for their services. Raousset, 
finding that Santa Ana's promises could not be 
relied upon, and that the wiley schemer was 
about to have him arrested, made his escape to 
Acapulco, riding several horses to death to 
reach there ahead of his pursuers. He embarked 
immediately for San Francisco. 

In the meantime another filibuster, William 
Walker, with forty-one followers had landed at 
La Paz November 3, 1853, and proclaimed a 
new nation, the Republic of Lower California. 
Santa Ana, frightened by this new invasion, be- 
gan making overtures through the Mexican con- 
sul, Luis del Valle, at San Francisco to secure 
French recruits for military service on the Mex- 
ican frontier. Del Yalle applied to the French 
consul, Dilh mi. and Dillon applied to Raousset. 
Raousset soon secured eight hundred recruits 
and chartered the British ship Challenge to take 
them to Guaymas. Then the pro-slavery federal 
officials at San Francisco were aroused to ac- 
tion. The neutrality laws were being violated. 
It was not that they cared for the laws, but they 
feared that this new filibustering scheme might 
interfere with their pet, Walker, who had, in ad- 
dition to tlie Republic of Lower California, 
founded another nation, the Republic of Sonora, 


in both of which he had decreed slavery. The 
ship was seized, but after a short detention was 
allowed to sail with three hundred French- 

Del Yalle was vigorously prosecuted by the 
federal authorities for violation of a section of 
the neutrality laws, which forbade the enlistment 
within the United States of soldiers to serve un- 
der a foreign power. Dillon, the French con- 
sul, was implicated and on his refusal to testify 
in court he was arrested. He fell back on his 
dignity and asserted that his nation had been in- 
sulted through him and closed his consulate. 
For a time there were fears of international 

Del Yalle was found guilty of violating the 
• neutrality laws, but was never punished. The 
pro-slavery pet, Walker, and his gang were 
driven out of Mexico and the federal officials 
had no more interest in enforcing neutrality 
laws. Meanwhile Raousset, after great diffi- 
culties, had joined the three hundred French- 
men at Guaymas. A strip of northern Sonora 
had been sold under what is known as the Gads- 
den purchase to the United States. There was 
no longer any opportunity to secure mines there 
from Mexico, but Raousset thought he could 
erect a barrier to any further encroachments of 
the United States and eventually secure Mexico 
for France. His first orders on reaching Guay- 
mas to the commander of the French, Desmaris, 
was to attack the Mexican troops and capture 
the city. His order did not reach Desmaris. Flis 
messenger was arrested and the Mexican au- 
thorities begun collecting forces to oppose 
Raousset. Having failed to receive reinforce- 
ments, and his condition becoming unendurable, 
he made an attack on the Mexican forces, twelve 
hundred strong. After a brave assault he was 
defeated. He surrendered to the French consul 
on the assurance that his life and that of his 
men would be spared. He was treacherously 
surrendered by the French consul to the Mex- 
ican general. He was tried by a court-martial, 
found guilty and sentenced to be shot. On ilk- 
morning of August 12, 1854, he was executed. 
His misguided followers were shipped bad to 
San Francisco. So ended the first California 

The first American born filibuster who or- 
ganized one of these piratical expeditions was 
William Walker, a native of Tennessee. He 
came to California with the rush of 1850. He 
had started out in life to be a doctor, had studied 
law and finally drifted into journalism. He be- 
longed to the extreme pro-slavery faction. He 
located in San PTancisco and found employment 
on the Herald. Mis bitter invective against the 
courts for their laxity in punishing crime raised 
the ire of Judge Levi Parsons, win, fined Walker 
$500 for contempt of court and ordered him 
imprisoned until the fine was paid. Walker re- 
fused to pay the fine and went to jail. He at 
once bounded into notoriety. He was a mar- 
tyr to the freedom of the press. A public in- 
dignation meeting was called. An immense 
crowd of sympathizers called on Walker in jail. 
A writ of habeas corpus was sued out and he 
was released from jail and discharged. In the 
legislature of 1852 he tried to have Parson im- 
peached, but failed. He next opened a law of- 
fice in Marysville. 

The success of Raousset-Boulbon in his first 
expedition to Sonora had aroused the ambition 
of Walker to become the founder of a new gov- 
ernment. Flis first efforts were directed towards 
procuring from Mexico a grant on the Sonora 
border; this was to be colonized with Americans, 
who would protect the Mexican frontier from 
Apache incursion. This was a mere subterfuge 
and the Mexican authorities were not deceived 
by it — he got no grant. To forestall Raousset- 
Boulbon, who was again in the field with his 
revolutionary scheme. Walker opened a recruit- 
ing office. Each man was to receive a square 
league of land and plunder galore. The bait 
took, meetings were held, scrip sold and re- 
cruits flocked to Walker. The brig Arrow was 
chartered to carry the liberators to their des- 
tination. The pro-slaver) officials, who held all 
the offices, winked at this violation of the neu- 
trality laws. There was but one man. General 
Hitchcock, who dared to lo his duty, lie seized 
the vessel; it was released, and Hitchcock re- 
moved from command. Jefferson 
secretary of war and Hitchcock was made to feel 
his wrath for interfering with one of Davis' pet 
projects, the extension of slavery. Walker 



sailed in another vessel, the Caroline, taking 
with him forty-one of his followers, well armed 
with rifles and revolvers to develop the re- 
sources of the country. 

The vessel with Walker and his gang sneaked 
into La Paz under cover of a Mexican flag. He 
seized the unsuspecting governor and other offi- 
cials and then proclaimed the Republic of Lower 
California. He appointed from his following a 
number of officials with high sounding titles. 
He adopted the code of Louisiana as the law of 
the land. This, as far as he was able, introduce. 1 
into the country human slavery, which indeed 
was about the sole purpose of his filibuster- 
ing schemes. Fearing that the Mexican gov- 
ernment might send an expedition across the 
gulf to stop his marauding, he slipped out of 
the harbor and sailed up to Todas Santos, so as 
to be near the United States in case the Mexican 
government should make it uncomfortable for 
him. With this as headquarters he began prepa- 
rations for an invasion of Sonora. His delectable 
followers appropriated to their own use what- 
ever they could find in the poverty-stricken 
country. The news of the great victory at La 
Paz reached San Francisco and created great 
enthusiasm among Walker's sympathizers. His 
vice-president, Watkins, enrolled three hundred 
recruits and sent them to him, "greatly to the 
relief of the criminal calendar." 

Walker began to drill his recruits for the con- 
quest of Sonora. These patriots, who had ral- 
lied to the support of the new republic, under 
the promise of rich churches to pillage and well- 
d ranches to plunder, did not take kindly 
to a diet of jerked beef and beans and hard drill- 
ing under a torrid sun. Some rebelled and it 
became necessar) for Walker to use the lash 
and even to shout two ,ii them for the good of 
the cause. The natives rebelled when they found 
their cattle and Frijoles disappearing and the so- 
, ailed battle of 1 .a Gualla was [ought between 
the native s and a detachment of Walker's forag- 
if whom were killed. The news of 
this battle reached San Francisco and was mag- 
nified into a great victory. The new republic 
bi en baptized in the blood of its martyrs. 
After three months spent in drilling, Walker 
began his march to Sonora with but one hun- 

dred men, and a small herd of cattle for food. 
Most of the others had deserted. In his jour- 
ney across the desert the Indians stole some of 
his cattle and more of his men deserted. On 
reaching the Colorado river about half of his 
force abandoned the expedition and marched 
to Fort Yuma, where Major Heintzelman re- 
lieved their necessities. Walker with thirty-five 
men had started back for Santa Tomas. They 
brought up at Tia Juana, where they crossed 
the American line, surrendered and gave their 
paroles to Major McKinstry of the United 
States army. When Walker and his Falstaffian 
army reached San Francisco they were lionized 
,i- heroes. All they had done was to kill a few 
inoffensive natives on the peninsula and steal 
their cattle. Their valiant leader had proclaimed 
two republics and decreed (on paper) that slav- 
ery should prevail in them. He had had sev- 
eral of his dupes whipped and two of them shot, 
which was probably the most commendable 
thing he had done. His proclamations were 
ridiculous and his officers with their high sound- 
ing titles had returned from their burlesque con- 
quest with scarcely rags enough on them to 
cover their nakedness. Yet, despite all this, 
the attempt to enlarge the area of slave territory 
covered him with glory and his rooms were the 
resort of all the pro-slavery officials of Califor- 

The federal officials made a show of prosecut- 
ing the filibusters. Watkins, the vice-president 
of the Republic of Lower California and So- 
nora, was put on trial in the United States dis- 
trict court. The evidence was so plain and the 
proof so convincing that the judge was com- 
pelled to convict against his will. This delightful 
specimen of a pro-slavery justice expressed 
from the bench his sympathy for "those spirited 
men who had gone forth to upbuild the broken 
altars and rekindle tlie extinguished fires of lib- 
erty in Mexico and Lower California." With 
such men to enforce the laws, it was not strange 
that vigilance committees were needed in Cal- 
ifornia. Watkins and Emory, the so-called sec- 
retary of state, were fined each $1,500. The 
tines were never paid and no effort was ever 
made to compel their payment. The secretary 
of war and the secretary of the navy were [nit 



on trial and acquitted. This ended the shame- 
ful farce. 

Walker's next expedition was to Nicaragua in 
1855. A revolution was in progress there. He 
joined forces with the Democratic party or anti- 
legitimists. He took but fifty-six men with 
him. These were called the American phalanx. 
His first engagement was an attack upon the 
fortified town of Rivas. Although his men 
fought bravely, they were defeated and two of 
his best officers, Kewen and Crocker, killed. 
His next fight was the battle of Virgin Bay, in 
which, with fifty Americans and one hundred 
and twenty natives, he defeated six hundred 
legitimists. He received reinforcements from 
California and reorganized his force. He 
seized the Accessory Transit Company's lake 
steamer La Virgin against the protest of the 
company, embarked his troops on board of it 
and by an adroit movement captured the capi- 
tal city, Granada. His exploits were heralded 
abroad and recruits flocked to his support. The 
legitimist had fired upon a steamer bringing pas- 
sengers up the San Juan river and killed several. 
Walker in retaliation ordered Mateo Mazorga, 
the legitimist secretary of state, whom he had 
taken prisoner at Granada, shot. Peace was de- 
clared between the two parties and Patrico 
Rivas made president. Rivas was president only 
in name; 'Walker was the real head of the gov- 
ernment and virtually dictator. 

He was now at the zenith of his power. By a 
series of arbitrary acts he confiscated the Ac- 
cessory Transit Company's vessels and charter. 
This company had become a power in California 
travel and had secured the exclusive transit of 
passengers by the Nicaragua route, then the 
most popular route to California. 

By this action he incurred the enmity of Yan- 
derbilt, who henceforth worked for his down- 
fall. The confiscation of the transit company's 
right destroyed confidence in the route, and 
travel virtually ceased by it. This was a blow 
to the prosperity of the country. To add to 
Walker's misfortunes, the other Central Amer- 
ican states combined to drive the hated foreign- 
ers out of the country. He had gotten rid of 
Rivas and hail secured the presidency for him- 
self. He had secured the repeal of the \'u 

aragua laws against slavery and thus paved the 
way for the introduction of his revered institu- 
tion. Plis army now amounted to about twelve 
hundred men, mostly recruited from California 
and the slave states. The cholera broke out 
among his forces and in the armies of the allies 
and numbers died. His cause was rapidly wan- 
ing. Many of his dupes deserted. A series of 
disasters arising from his blundering and in- 
capacity, resulted in his overthrow. He and 
sixteen of his officers were taken out of the 
country on the United States sloop of war, St. 
Mary's. The governor of Panama refused to 
allow him to land in that city. He was sent 
across the isthmus under guard to Aspinwall 
and from there with his staff took passage to 
New Orleans. His misguided followers were 
transported to Panama and found their way 
back to the United States. 

LTpon arriving at New Orleans he began re- 
cruiting for a new expedition. One hundred and 
fifty of his "emigrants" sailed from Mobile; the 
pro-slavery federal officials allowing them to 
depart. They were wrecked on Glover's reef, 
about seventy miles from Balize. They were 
rescued by a British vessel and returned to Mo- 
bile. Walker, with one hundred and thirty-two 
armed emigrants, landed at Punta Arenas, No- 
vember 25, 1857, and hoisted his Nicaraguan 
flag and called himself commander-in-chief of 
the army of Nicaragua. He and his men b< gar 
a career of plunder; seized the fort of Cas- 
tillo on the San Juan river; captured steam- 
ers, killed several inhabitants and made 
prisoners of others. Commander Paulding, 
of the United States flagship Wabash, then 
on that coast, regarded these acts as rapine 
and murder, and Walker and his men as out- 
laws and pirates. lie broke up their camp, dis- 
armed Walker and his emigrants and sent them 
to the United States for trial. But instead of 
Walker and his followers being tried for piracy 
their pro-slavery abettors made heroes of them. 

Walker's last effort to regain his lost prestige 
in Nicaragua was made in i860. With two hun- 
dred men. recruited in New Orleans, he landed 
near Truxillo, in Honduras. I lis intention was 
to make his way by land to Nicaragua. 1 le very 
soon found armed opposition, His new recruits 



were not inclined to sacrifice themselves to make 
him dictator of some country that they had no 
interest in. So they refused to stand up against 
the heav\ odds they encountered in every fight. 
Finding his situation growing desperate, he was 
induced to surrender himself to the captain of 
the British man-of-war Icarus. The authorities 
of Honduras made a demand on the captain for 
Walker. That British Officer promptly turned 
the filibuster over to them. He was tried by 
a court-martial, hastily convened, found guilty 
of the offenses charged, and condemned to die. 
September 25, i860, he was marched out and. 
in accordance with his sentence, shot to death. 

Walker's career is an anomaly in the history 
of mankind. Devoid of all the characteristics of 
a great leader, without a commanding presence, 
puny in size, homely to the point of ugliness, 
in disposition, cold, cruel, selfish, heartless, stol- 
idlv indifferent to the suffering of others, living 
only to gratify the cravings of his inordinate 
ambition — it is strange that such a man could 
attract thousands to offer their lives for his 
aggrandizement and sacrifice themselves for a 
cause of which he was the exponent, a cause the 
must ignoble, the extension of human slavery, 
that for such a man and for such a cause thou- 
sands did offer up their lives is a sad commen- 
tary on the political morality of that time. It 
is said that over ten thousand men joined 
Walker in his filibustering schemes and that 
fifty-seven hundred of these found graves in 
Nicaragua. Of the number of natives killed in 
battle or who died of disease, there is no record, 
Imt it greatly exceeded Walker's losses. 

While Walker was attaining some success in 
Nicaragua, another California filibuster entered 
the arena. This was Henry A. Crabb, a Stock- 
ton lawyer. Like Walker, he was a native of 
Tennessee, and, like him. too. he was a rabid 
' r\ advocate. He had served in the 
assembl) and one term in the -tale senate. It 
is -aid he was the author of a bill to allow slave- 
holders who bri lUghl their -lave- into ( 'alitornia 
1:- admission to take their human chattels 
back into bondage. He was originally a Whig, 
the Know Nothing party and was 
a Candida'.' of that party for United State- sen- 
ator in 1856: but his extreme southern princi- 

ples prevented his election. He had married a 
Spanish wife, who had numerous and influential 
relatives in Sonora. It was claimed that Crabb 
had received an invitation from some of these to 
bring down an armed force of Americans to 
overthrow the government and make himself 
master of the country. Whether he did or did 
not receive such an invitation, he did recruit a 
body of men for some kind of service in Sonora. 
With a force of one hundred men, well armed 
with rifles and revolvers, he sailed, in January, 
1857, on the steamer Sea Bird, from San Fran- 
cisco to San Pedro and from there marched over- 
land. As usual, no attempt was made by the 
federal authorities to prevent him from invading 
a neighboring country with an armed force. 

He entered Sonora at Sonita, a small town 
one hundred miles from Yuma. His men helped 
themselves to what they could find. When ap- 
proaching the town of Cavorca they were fired 
upon by a force of men lying in ambush. The 
fire was kept up from all quarters. They made a 
rush and gained the shelter of the houses. In 
the charge two of their men had been killed and 
eighteen wounded. In the house they had taken 
:on of they were exposed to shots from 
a church. Crabb and fifteen of his men tit- 
tempted to blow open the doors of the church 
with gunpowder, but in the attempt, which 
failed, five of the men were killed, and seven, 
including Crabb, wounded. After holding out 
for five days they surrendered to the Mexicans, 
Gabilondo, the Mexican commander, promising 
to spare their lives. Next morning they were 
marched out in squads of five to ten and shot. 
Crabb was tied to a post and a hundred balls 
fired into him ; his head was cut off and placed 
in a jar of mescal. The only one spared was a 
boy of fifteen. Charles E. Evans. A party of 
sixteen men whom Crabb had left at Sonita 
was surprised and all massacred. The boy 
Evans was the only one left to tell the fate of the 
ill-starred expedition. This put an end to fili- 
bustering expeditions into Sonora. 

These tinned forays on the neighboring coun- 
tries to the south of the United States ceased 
with the beginning of the war of secession. 
The} had all been made for the purpose of ac- 
quiring slave territory. The leaders of them 




were southern men and the rank and file wen.' 
mostly recruited from natives of the slave states. 
Bancroft truthfully says of these filibustering 
expeditions : 'They were foul robberies, covered 
by the flimsiest of political and social pretenses, 
gilded by false aphorisms and profane distortion 
of sacred formulae. Liberty dragged in the mud 
for purposes of theft and human enslavement; 
the cause of humanity bandied in filthy mouths 
to promote atrocious butcheries; peaceful, 

blooming valleys given over to devastation and 
ruin; happy families torn asunder, and widows 
and orphans cast adrift to nurse affliction; and 
finally, the peace of nations imperiled, and the 
morality of right insulted. The thought of such 
results should obliterate all romance, and turn 
pride to shame. They remain an ineffaceable 
stain upon the government of the most progres- 
sive of nations, and veil in dismal irony the 
dream of manifest destiny." 



UNDER the Spanish and Mexican jurisdic- 
tions there was but little cultivation of 
the soil in California. While the gardens 
of some of the missions, and particularly those 
of Santa Barbara and San Buenaventura, pre- 
sented a most appetizing display of fruit and 
vegetables, at the ranchos there were but mea- 
ger products. Gilroy says that when he came 
to the country, in 1814, potatoes were not cul- 
tivated and it was a rare thing outside of the 
mission gardens to find any onions or cabbages. 
A few acres of wheat and a small patch of maize 
or corn furnished bread, or. rather, tortillas for 
a family. At the missions a thick soup made of 
boiled wheat or maize and meat was the stand- 
ard article of diet for the neophytes. This was 
portioned out to them in the quantity of about 
three pints to each person. Langsdorff, who 
witnessed the distribution of soup rations to the 
Indians at Santa Clara, says: "It appeared in- 
comprehensible how any one could three times a 
day eat so large a portion of such, nourishing 
food." The neophytes evidently had healthy ap- 
petites. Frijoles (beans) were the staple vege- 
table dish in Spanish families. These were 
served up at almost every meal. The bill of 
fare for a native Californian family was very 

A considerable aim mm of wheal was raised 
at the more favorably located missions. It was 
not raised for export, but to feed the neophytes. 

The wheat fields had to be fenced in, or perhaps 
it would be more in accordance with the facts 
to say that the cattle had to be fenced out. As 
timber was scarce, adobe brick did duty for 
fencing as well as for house building. Some- 
times the low adobe walls were made high and 
safe by placing on top of them a row of the 
skulls of Spanish cattle with the long, curving 
horns attached to them pointing outward. These 
were brought from the matanzas or slaughter 
corrals where there were thousands of them 
lying around. It was almost impossible for 
man or beast to scale such a fence. 

The agricultural implements of the early Cali- 
fornians were few and simple. The Mexican 
plow was a forked stick with an iron point las 
tened to the fork or branch that penetrated the 
ground. It turned no furrow, but merely 
scratched the surface of the ground. After sow- 
ing it was a race between the weeds and the 
grain. It depended on the season which won. 
If the season was cold and backward, so that 
eed did not sprout readily, the weeds gol 
the start and won oul easily. And yet with such 
primitive cultivation the yield was sometimes 
astonishing. \i the Mission San Diego the 
crop of wheat one year produced one hundred 
and ninety-five fold. \s the agriculturist had 
a large area from which to select his arable land, 
only the richest soils were ore the 

discover) of gold there was little or no market 



for grain, and each ranchero rajsed only enough 
for his own use. For a time there was some 
trade with the Russians in grain to supply their 
settlements in Alaska, but this did not continue 

\\ hen some of the Americans who came in 
ill'' gold rush began to turn their attention to 
agriculture they greatly underrated the produc- 
tiveness of the country. To men raised where 
the summer rains were needed to raise a crop 
it seemed impossible to produce a crop in a 
country that was rainless for six or eight months 
of the year. All attempts at agriculture hitherto 
had been -along the rivers, and it was generally 
believed that the plains back from the water 
courses could never be used for any other pur- 
pose than cattle raising. 

The mining rush of '49 found California with- 
out vegetables and fresh fruit. The distance 
was too great for the slow transportation of 
that day to ship these into the country. Those 
who first turned their attention to market gar- 
dening made fortunes. The story is told of an 
old German named Schwartz who had a small 
ranch a few miles below Sacramento. In [848, 
when everybody was rushing to the mines, he 
remained on his farm, unmoved by the stories 
of the wonderful finds of gold. Anticipating a 
greater rush in 1849, ne planted several acres 
in watermelons. As they ripened he took them 
up to the city and disposed of them at prices 
ranging from $1 to $5, according to size, lie 
realized that season from his melons alone 
$30,000. The first field of cabbages was grown 
by < icorge H. Peck and a partner in 1850. From 
defective seed or some other cause the cabbage 
failed to come to a head. Supposing that the 
delect was in the climate and not in the cabbage, 
the honest rancher marketed his crop in San 
Francisco, carrying a cabbage in each hand 
along the streets until he found a customer. To 
the query why there were no heads to them 
the replj was, "That's tin- waj cabbages grow 
in California." lie got rid of bis crop at the 
Kite .if Si apiece for each headless cabbage. 
But all the vegetable growing experiments were 
nol a financial success. The high price of po- 
rted a tuber-growing epidemic 
in [850. Hundreds of acres were planted 1.. 

"spuds" in the counties contiguous to San 
Francisco, the agriculturists paying as high as 
fifteen cents per pound for seed. The yield was 
enormous and the market was soon overstocked. 
The growers who could not dispose of their 
potatoes stacked them up in huge piles in the 
fields; and there they rotted, filling the country 
around with their effluvia. The next year no- 
l>"d\ planted potatoes, and prices went up to 
the figures of '49 and the spring of '50. 

The size to which vegetables grew astonished 
the amateur agriculturists. Beets, when allowed 
to grow to maturity, resembled the trunks of 
trees; onions looked like squash, while a patch 
of pumpkins resembled a tented field; and corn 
grew so tall that the stalks had to be felled to 
gt\ ai the ears. Onions were a favorite vege- 
table in the mining camps on account of their 
anti-scorbutic properties as a preventive of 
scurvy. The honest miner was not fastidious 
about the aroma. They were a profitable crop, 
too. One ranchero in the Xapa valley was re- 
ported to have cleared $8,000 off two acres of 

\\ it h the decline of gold mining wheat be- 
came the staple product of central California. 
The nearness to shipping ports and the large 
yields made wheat growing very profitable. In 
the years immediately following the Civil war 
the price ranged high and a fortune was some- 
times made from the products of a single field. 
It may be necessary to explain that the field 
might contain anywhere from five hundred to 
a thousand acres. The grain area was largely 
extended by the discovery that land in the 
upper mesas, which had been regarded as only 
fit for pasture land, was good for cereals. The 
land in the southern part of the state, which 
was held in large grants, continued to be de- 
voted to cattle raising for at least two decades 
after the American conquest. After the dis- 
covery of gold cattle raising became immensely 
profitable. Under the Mexican regime a steer 
was worth what his hide and tallow would bring 
or about $2 or $3. The rush of immigration in 
[849 -eiil the price of cattle up until a fat bul- 
lock sold for from $30 to $35. The profit to a 
ranchero who had a thousand or more marketa- 
ble cattle was a fortune. A good, well-stocked 



cattle ranch was more valuable than a gold 

The enormous profits in cattle raising dazed 
the Californians. Had they been thrifty and 
economical, they might have grown rich. But 
the sudden influx of wealth engendered extrava- 
gant habits and when the price of cattle fell, as 
it did in a few years, the spendthrift customs 
were continued. When the cattle market was 
dull it was easy to raise money by mortgaging 
the ranch. With interest at the rate of 5 per 
cent per month, compounded monthly, it did 
not take long for land and cattle both to change 
hands. It is related of the former owner of 
the Santa Gertrudes rancho' that he borrowed 
$500 from a money lender, at 5 per cent a 
month, to beat a poker game, but did not suc- 
ceed. Then he borrowed more money to pay 
the interest on the first and kept on doing so 
until interest and principal amounted to $100,- 
000; then the mortgage was foreclosed and 
property to-day worth $1,000,000 was lost for 
a paltry $500 staked on a poker game. 

Gold mining continued to be the prevailing 
industry of northern California. The gold pro- 
duction reached its acme in 1853. when the 
total yield was $65,000,000. From that time 
there was a gradual decline in production and 
in the number of men employed. Many had 
given up the hopes of striking it rich and quit 
the business for something more certain and 
less illusive. The production of gold in 1X52 
was $60,000,000, yet the average yield to each 
man of the one hundred thousand engaged in 
it was only about $600, or a little over $2 per 
day to the man, scarcely living wages as prices 
were then. It has been claimed that the cost of 
producing the gold, counting all expenditures, 
was three times the value of that produced. 
Even if it did, the development of the country 
and impulse given to trade throughout the 
world would more than counterbalance the loss. 
At the time of the discovery of gold nearly all 
of the fruit raised in California was produced at 
Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. In Spanish and 
Mexican days, Los Angeles had been the prin- 
cipal wine-producing district of California. Al- 
though wine, as well as other spirituous liquors, 
were in demand, the vineyardists found it more 

profitable to ship their grapes to San Francisco 
than to manufacture them into wine. Grapes 
retailed in the city of San Francisco at from 
twelve and one-half to twenty-five cents a 
pound. The vineyards were as profitable as 
the cattle ranches. The mission Indians did the 
labor in the vineyards and were paid in aguar- 
diente on Saturday night. By Sunday morning 
they were all drunk; then they were gathered 
up and put into a corral. On Monday morning 
they were sold to pay the cost of their dissipa- 
tion. It did not take many years to kill off the 
Indians. The city has grown over the former 
sites of the vineyards. 

The first orange trees were planted at the 
Mission San Gabriel about the year 1815 and 
a few at Los Angeles about the same time. But 
little attention was given to the industry by the 
Californians. The first extensive grove was 
planted by William Wolfskill in 1840. The im- 
pression then prevailed that oranges could be 
grown only on the low lands near the river. 
The idea of attempting to grow them on the 
mesa lands was scouted at by the Californians 
and the Americans. The success that attended 
the Riverside experiment demonstrated that 
they could be grown on the mesas, and that the 
fruit produced was superior to that grown on 
the river bottoms. This gave such an impel us 
to the industry in the south that it has distanced 
all others. The yearly shipment to the eastern 
markets is twenty thousand car loads. The cit- 
rus belt is extending every year. 

The Californians paid but little attention to 
the quality of the fruit they raised. The seed 
fell in the ground and sprouted. If the twig 
survived and grew to be a tree, they ate the fruit, 
asking no question whether the quality might 
be improved. The pears grown at the missions 
and at some of the ranch houses were hard and 
tasteless. It was said they never ripened. \ 
small black fig was cultivated in a few places, 
but the quantity of fruit grown outside of the 
mission gardens was very small. 

The high price of all kinds of fruit in the early 
'50s induced the importation of apple, peach, 
pear, plum ami prune trees. These thrived and 
soon supplied the demand. Before the advent 
of the railroads and the shipment east the quan- 



tit) of deciduous fruit produced had outgrown 
the demand, and there was no profit in its pro- 
duction. All this has been changed by eastern 

Sheep were brought to the country with the 
first missionary expeditions. The Indian in his 
primitive condition did not use clothing. A 
coat of mud was his only garment and he was 
not at all particular about the fit of that. After 
his conversion the missionaries put clothing on 
him, or, rather, on part of him. He was given a 
shirt, which was a shirt of Xessus. being made of 
the coarse woolen cloth manufactured at the 
mission. It was irritating to the skin and com- 
pelled the poor wretches to keep up a continual 
scratching; at least, that is what Hugo Reid 
tells us. During the Civil war and for several 
years after, the sheep industry was very profit- 
able. The subdivision of the great ranchos and 
the absorption of the land for grain growing and 
fruit culture have contracted the sheep ranges 
until there is but little left for pasture except the 
foothills that are too rough for cultivation. 

Up to 1863 the great Spanish grants that cov- 
ered the southern part of the state had, with a 
few exceptions, been held intact and cattle rais- 
ing had continued to be the principal industry. 
For several seasons previous to the famine years 
of 1863 and 1864 there had been heavy rainfalls 
and consequently abundant feed. With that 
careless indifference that marked the business 
management of the native Californian, the 
ranges had become overstocked. When the 
dry vear of 1863 set in, the feed on ranches was 
soon exhausted and the cattle starving. The 
second famine year following, the cattle industry 
was virtually wiped out of existence and the 
cattle-owners ruined. In Santa Barbara, where 
the cattle barons held almost imperial sway, 
and, with their army of retainers, controlled the 
political affairs of the county, of the two hun- 
dred thousand cattle listed on the assessment 
roll of [862, onl) five thousand were alive when 
grass grew in 1865. On the Stearns' ranchos in 
Los Angeles county, one hundred thousand 
head of cattle and horses perished, and the 
owner of a quarter million acres and a large 
amount of city property could not raise money 
enough to pay $1,000 taxes. 

Many of the rancheros were in debt when the 
hard times came, and others mortgaged their 
land at usurious rates of interest to carry them 
through the famine years. Their cattle dead, 
they had no income to meet the interest on the 
cancerous mortgage that was eating up their 
patrimony. The result was that they were com- 
pelled either to sell their land or the mortgage 
was foreclosed and they lost it. This led to the 
subdivision of the large grants into small .hold- 
ings, the new proprietors finding that there was 
more profit in selling them off in small tracts 
than in large ones. This brought in an intelli- 
gent and progressive population, and in a few 
years entirely revolutionized the agricultural 
conditions of the south. Grain growing and 
fruit raising became the prevailing industries. 
The adobe ranch house with its matanzas and 
its Golgotha of cattle skulls and bones gave 
place to the tasty farm house with its flower 
garden, lawn and orange grove. 

The Californians paid but little attention to 
improving the breed of their cattle. When the 
only value in an animal was the hide and tallow, 
it did not pay to improve the breed. The hide 
of a long-horned, mouse-colored Spanish steer 
would sell for as much as that of a high-bred 
Durham or Holstein, and, besides, the first 
could exist where the latter would starve to 
death. After the conquest there was for some 
time but little improvement. Cattle were brought 
across the plains, but for the most part these 
were the mongrel breeds of the western states 
and were but little improvement on the Spanish 
stock. It was not until the famine years vir- 
tually exterminated the Spanish cattle that bet- 
ter breeds were introduced. 

As with cattle, so also it was with horses. 
Little attention was given to improving the 
breed. While there were a few fine race horses 
and saddle horses in the country before its 
American occupation, the prevailing equine was 
the mustang. He was a vicious beast, nor was 
it strange that his temper was bad. He had to 
endure starvation and abuse that would have 
killed a more aristocratic animal. He took care 
of himself, subsisted on what he could pick up 
and to the best of his ability resented ill treat- 
ment. Horses during the Mexican regime were 



used only for riding. Oxen were the draft ani- 
mals. Tlic mustang had one inherent trail that 
did not endear him to an American, and that 
was his propensity to "buck." With his nose 
between his knees, his back arched and his legs 
stiffened, by a series of short, quick jumps, he 
could dismount an inexperienced rider with 
neatness and dispatch. The Californian took 
delight in urging the bronco to "buck" so that 
he (the rider) might exhibit his skillful horse- 
manship. The mustang had some commenda- 
ble traits as well. He was sure-footed as a goat 
and could climb the steep hillsides almost equal 
to that animal. He had an easy gait under the. 
saddle and could measure off mile after mile 
without a halt. His power of endurance was 
wonderful. He could live off the country when 
apparently there was nothing to subsist on ex- 
cept the bare ground. He owed mankind a debt 
of ingratitude which he always stood ready to 
pay when an opportunity offered. The passing 
of the mustang began with the advent of the 
American farmer. 

The founding of agricultural colonies began 
in the '50s. One of the first, if not the first, was 
the German colony of Anaheim, located thirty 
miles south of Los Angeles. A company of 
Germans organized in San Francisco in 1857 
for the purpose of buying land for the cultiva- 
tion of the wine grape and the manufacture of 
wine. The organization was a stock company. 
Eleven hundred acres were purchased in a 
Spanish grant. This was subdivided into twenty 
and forty acre tracts; an irrigating ditch 
brought in from the Santa Ana river. A por- 
tion of each subdivision was planted in vines 
and these were cultivated by the company until 
they came into bearing, when the tracts were 
divided among the stockholders by lot, a cer- 
tain valuation being fixed on each tract. The 
man obtaining a choice lot paid into the fund 
a certain amount and the one receiving an infe- 
rior tract received a certain amount, so that each 
received the same value in the distribution. The 
colony proved quite a success, and for thirty 
years Anaheim was one of the largest wine- 
producing districts in the United States. In 
1887 a mysterious disease destroyed all the vines 
and the vineTardists turned their attention 

to the cultivation of oranges and English 

The Riverside colony, then in San Bernardino 
county, now in Riverside county, was founded 
in 1870. The projectors of the colony were 
eastern gentlemen. At the head of the organiza- 
tion was Judge J. W. North. They purchased 
four thousand acres of the Roubidoux or Jurupa 
rancho and fourteen hundred and sixty acres of 
government land from the California Silk Cen- 
ter Association. This association had been or- 
ganized in 1869 for the purpose of founding a 
colony to cultivate mulberry trees and manu- 
facture silk. It had met with reverses, first in 
the death of its president, Louis Prevost, a man 
skilled in the silk business, next in the revoca- 
tion by the legislature of the bounty for mul- 
berry plantations, and lastly in the subsidence 
of the sericulture craze. To encourage silk cul- 
ture in California, the legislature, in 1866, passed 
an act authorizing the payment of a bounty of 
$250 for every plantation of five thousand mul- 
berry trees two years old. This greatly stimu- 
lated the planting of mulberry trees, if it did 
not greatly increase the production of silk. In 
1869 it was estimated that in the central and 
southern portions of the state there were ten 
millions of mulberry trees in various stages of 
growth. Demands for the bounty poured in 
upon the commissioners in such numbers that 
the state treasury was threatened with bank- 
ruptcy. The revocation of the bounty killed 
the silk worms and the mulberry trees: ami 
those who had been attacked with the sericulture 
craze quickly recovered. The Silk Center As- 
sociation, having fallen into hard lines, offered 
its lands for sale at advantageous terms, and in 
September, 1870, they were purchased by the 
Southern California Colon) Association. The 
land was bought at S3. 50 per acre, li was mesa 
or table land that had never been cultivated. 
It was considered by old-timers indifferent sheep 
pasture, and Roubidoux, i; is -aid. had it struck 
from the tax roll because it was not worth tax- 

The company had the land subdivided and 
laid off a town which was first named Jurupa, 
but afterwards the name was changed to River- 
side. The river, the Santa Ana. did not flow 


past the town, but the colonists hoped to make 
a goodly portion of its waters do so. The lands 
were put on sale at reasonable prices, a ditch 
at a cost of $50,000 was constructed. Experi- 
ments were made with oranges, raisin grapes 
and deciduous fruits, but the colony finally set- 
tled down to orange producing. In 1877 the 
introduction of the Bahia or navel orange gave 
an additional impetus to orange growing in the 
colony, the fruit of that species being greatly 
superior to any other. This fruit was propa- 
gated by budding from two trees received from 
Washington, D. C, by J. A. Tibbetts, of River- 

The Indiana colony, which later became Pasa- 
dena, was founded in 1873 by some gentlemen 
from Indiana. Its purpose was the growing of 
citrus fruits and raisin grapes, but it has grown 
into a city, and the orange groves, once the 
pride of the colony, have given place to business 
blocks and stately residences. 

During the early '70s a number of agricul- 
tural colonies were founded in Fresno county. 
These were all fruit-growing and raisin-pro- 
ducing enterprises. They proved successful and 
Fresno has become the largest raisin-pro- 
ducing district in the state. 



THE admission of California into the Union 
as a free state did not, in the opinion of 
the ultra pro-slavery faction, preclude the 
possibility of securing a part of its territory for 
the "peculiar institution" of the south. The 
question of state division which had come up 
in the constitutional convention was again agi- 
tated. The advocates of division hoped to cut 
off from the southern part, territory enough for 
a new state. The ostensible purpose of division 
was kept concealed. The plea of unjust taxa- 
tion was made prominent. The native Califor- 
nians who under Mexican rule paid no taxes on 
their land were given to understand that they 
were bearing an undue proportion of the cost 
of government, while the mining counties, pay- 
ing less tax, had the greater representation. The 
native Californians were opposed to slavery, an 
open advocacy of the real purpose would defeat 
the division scheme. 

The leading men in the southern part of the 
state were from the slave states. If the state 
were divided, the influence of these men would 
carry the new state into the Union with a con- 
stitution authorizing slave-holding and thus the 
south would gain two senators. The division 
question came up in some form in nearh every 
session of the legislature for a decade after Cali- 
fornia became a state. 

In the legislature of 1854-55, Jefferson Hunt, 
of San Bernardino county, introduced a bill in 
the assembly to create and establish, "out of 
the territory embraced within the limits of the 
state of California, a new state, to be called the 
state of Columbia." The territory embraced 
within the counties of Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, 
San Joaquin, Calaveras, Amador, Tuolumne, 
Stanislaus, Mariposa, Tulare, Monterey, Santa 
Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles, San 
Bernardino and San Diego, with the islands on 
the coast, were to constitute the new state. 
"The people residing within the above mentioned 
territory shall be and they are hereby author- 
ized, so soon as the consent of the congress of 
the United States shall be obtained thereto, to 
proceed to organize a state government under 
such rules as are prescribed by the constitution 
of the United States." The bill met with oppo- 
sition. It took in some of the mining counties 
whose interests were not coincident with the 
agricultural counties of the south. It died on 
the files. 

At a subsequent session, a bill was introduced 
in the legislature to divide the state into three 
parts, southern, central and northern, the cen- 
tral state to retain the name of California. This 
was referred to a committee and got no farther. 
Ii was not satisfactory to the pro-slavery ele- 


ment because the gain to the south would be 
.overbalanced by the gain to the north. 

The success of border ruffianism, backed by 
the Buchanan administration, in forcing the de- 
testable Lecompton pro-slavery constitution on 
the people of Kansas, encouraged the division- 
ists to make another effort to divide the state. 
While California was a free state it had through- 
out its existence, up to 1857, when Broderick 
was elected to the senate, been represented in 
both houses either by slave-holders from the 
south or by northern "dough faces" — men of 
northern birth with southern principles. Most 
of the state offices had been filled by southern 
men who had come to the state to obtain office 
or men who had been imported by their friends 
or relatives to fill positions by appointment. 
Indeed, so notorious had this importation of 
office-holders become that California was often 
referred to as the "Virginia poorhouse." 
Scarcely a legislature had convened in which 
there was not some legislation against free ne- 
groes. A free colored man was as terrible to 
the chivalrous legislators as an army with ban- 

The legislature of 1859 was intensely pro- 
slavery. The divisionists saw in it an oppor- 
tunity to carry out their long-deferred scheme. 
The so-called Pico law, an act granting the 
consent of the legislature to the formation of a 
different government for the southern counties 
of this state, was introduced early in the ses- 
sion, passed in both houses and approved by 
the governor April 18, 1859. The boundaries 
of the proposed state were as follows: "All of 
that part or portion of the present territory of 
this state lying all south of a line drawn east- 
ward from the west boundary of the state along 
the sixth standard parallel south of the Mount 
Diablo meridian, east to the summit of the 
coast range; thence southerly following said 
summit to the seventh standard parallel: thence 
due east on said standard, parallel to its inter- 
section with the northwest boundary of Los 
Angeles county; thence northeast along said 
boundary to the eastern boundary of the slate. 
including the counties of San Luis Obispo, 
Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, San Diego, San 
Bernardino and a part of Buena \ ista, shall he 

segregated from the remaining portion of the 
state for the purpose of the formation by con- 
gress, with the concurrent action of said portion 
(the consent for the segregation of which is 
hereby granted), of a territorial or other gov- 
ernment under the name of the "Territory of 
Colorado," or such other name as may be 
deemed meet and proper." 

Section second provided for the submitting 
the question of "For a Territory" or "Against 
a Territory" to the people of the portion sought 
to be segregated at the next general election; 
"and in case two-thirds of the whole number of 
voters voting thereon shall vote for a change of 
government, the consent hereby given shall be 
deemed consummated." In case the vote was 
favorable the secretary of state was to send a 
certified copy of the result of the election and 
a copy of the act annexed to the president of 
the United States and to the senators and rep- 
resentatives of California in congress. At the 
general election in September, 1859, the ques- 
tion was submitted to a vote of the people of 
the southern counties, with the following result: 

For. Against. 

Los Angeles county 1407 441 

San Bernardino 441 29 

San Diego 207 24 

San Luis Obispo 10 283 

Santa Barbara 395 5 1 

Tulare 17 

Total 2,477 828 

The bill to create the county of Buena Vista 
from the southern portion of Tulare failed to 
pass the legislature, hence the name of that 
county does not appear in the returns. The 
result of the vote showed that considerably more 
than two-thirds were in favor of a new state. 

The results of this movement for division and 
the act were sent to the president and to con- 
gress, hut nothing came of it. The pro-slavery 
faction that with the assistance of the dough- 
faces of the north had so long dominated con- 
gress hail lost its power. The southern senators 
and congressmen v, ere pp paring for s& 
and had weightier matters t,i think of than the 
division of tin- state of 1 :alifornia. < >f late years, 
a few feeble attempts have been made to stir up 



the old question of state division and even to 
resurrect the old "Pico law." 

For more than a decade after its admission 
into the Union, California was a Democratic 
state and controlled by the pro-slavery wing of 
that party. John C. Fremont and William H. 
Gwin, its first senators, were southern born, 
Fremont in South Carolina and Gwin in Mis- 
sissippi. Politics had not entered into their 
election, but the lines were soon drawn. Fre- 
mont drew the short term and his services in 
the senate were very brief. He confidently 
expected a re-election, but in this he was 
doomed to disappointment. The legislature of 
1851, after balloting one hundred ami forty-two 
times, adjourned without electing, leaving Cali- 
fornia with but one senator in the session of 
1850-51. In the legislature of 1852 John I'.. 
Wilier was elected. He was a northern man 
with southern principles. His chief opponent 
for the place was David Colbert Broderick, a 
man destined to fill an important place in the 
political history of California. He was an Irish- 
man by birth, but had come to America in his 
boyhood. He had learned the stone cutters' 
trade with his father. His early associations 
were with the rougher element of Xew York- 
City. Aspiring to a higher position than that 
of a stone cutter he entered the political field 
and soon arose to prominence. At the age of 
26 he was nominated for Congress, but was de- 
feated by a small majority through a split in the 
party. In 1840 he came to California, where he 
arrived sick and penniless. With F. D. Kohler, 
an assayer, he engaged in coining gold. The 
profit from buying gold dust at $14 an ounce 
and making it into $5 and $10 pieces put him 
in afHuenl circumstances. 

His first entry into politics in California was 
his election to fill a vacancy in the senate of the 
first legislature. In 1851 he became president 
of the senate. I ['e studied law. history and liter- 
ature and was admitted to the bar. He was ap- 
pointed clerk of the supreme cour) and had as- 
pirations for still higher positions. Although 
Senator Gwin was a Democrat, he had managed 
in control all the federal appointments of Fill 
more, the Whig president, and he had filled the 
(>f\)c<^ with pro-slaver) Democrats. 

Xo other free state in the Union had such 
odious laws against negroes as had California. 
The legislature of 1852 enacted a law "respect- 
ing fugitives from labor and slaves brought to 
this state prior to her admission to the Union." 
"Under this law a colored man or woman could 
be brought before a magistrate, claimed as a 
slave, and the person so seized not being per- 
mitted to testify, the judge had no alternative 
but to issue a certificate to the claimant, which 
certificate was conclusive of the right of the per- 
son or persons in whose favor granted, and pre- 
vented all molestation of such person or per- 
sons, by any process issued by any court, judge, 
justice or magistrate or other person whomso- 
ever. "* Any one who rendered assistance to a 
fugitive was liable to a fine of $500 or imprison- 
ment for two months. Slaves who had been 
brought into California by their masters before 
it became a state, but who were freed by the 
adoption of a constitution prohibiting slavery, 
were held to be fugitives and were liable to 
arrest, although they had been free for several 
years and some of them had accumulated con- 
siderable property. By limitation the law should 
have become inoperative in 1853, but the legis- 
lature of that year re-enacted it, and the suc- 
ceeding legislatures of 1854 and 1855 continued 
it in force. The intention of the legislators 
who enacted the law was to legalize the kid- 
napping of free negroes, as well as the arrest of 
fugitives. Broderick vigorously opposed the 
prosecution of the colored people and by so 
doing called down upon his head the wrath of 
the pro-slavery chivalry. From that time on he 
was an object of their hatred. While successive 
legislatures were passing laws to punish black- 
men for daring to assert their freedom and their 
right to the products of their honest toil, white 
villains were rewarded with political preferment, 
provided always that they belonged to the domi- 
nant wing of the Democratic party. The Whig 
party was but little better than the other, for the 
same element ruled in both. The finances of 
tin' state were in a deplorable condition and 
continually growing worse. The people's money 
was recklessly squandered. Incompetency was 

►Bancroft's History of California, Vol. VI. 



the rule in office and honesty the exception. 
Ballot box stuffing had been reduced to a me- 
chanical science, jury bribing was one of the 
fine arts and suborning perjury was a recognized 
profession. During one election in San Fran- 
cisco it was estimated that $1,500,000 was spent 
in one way or another to influence voters. Such 
was the state of affairs just preceding the up- 
rising of the people that evolved in San Fran- 
cisco the vigilance committee of 1856. 

At the state election in the fall of 1855 the 
Know Nothings carried the state. The native 
American or Know Nothing party was a party 
of few principles. Opposition to Catholics and 
foreigners was about the only plank in its plat- 
form. There was a strong opposition to for- 
eign miners in the mining districts and the 
pro-slavery faction saw in the increased foreign 
immigration danger to the extension of their 
beloved institution into new territory. The 
most potent cause of the success of the new 
part}- in California was the hope that it might 
bring reform to relieve the tax burdened people. 
But in this they were disappointed. It was made 
up from the same element that had so long mis- 
governed the state. 

The leaders of the party were either pro- 
slavery men of the south or northern men with 
southern principles. Of the latter class was J. 
Neely Johnson, the governor-elect. In the leg- 
islature of 1855 the contest between Gwin and 
Broderick, which had been waged at the polls 
the previous year, culminated after thirty-eight 
ballots in no choice and Gwin's place in the 
senate became vacant at the expiration- of his 
term. In the legislature of 1856 the Know Noth- 
ings had a majority in both houses. It was 
supposed that they would elect a senator to 
succeed Gwin. There were three aspirants: H. 
A. Crabb, formerly a Whig; F. C. Marshall and 
Henry S. Foote, formerly Democrats. All were 
southerners and were in the new party for of- 
fice. The Gwin and Broderick influence was 
strong enough to prevent the Know Nothing 
legislature from electing a senator and Califor- 
nia was left with but one representative in the 
upper house of Congress. 

The Know Nothing party was short lived. At 
the general election in 1856 the Democrats 

swept the state. Broderick, by his ability in or- 
ganizing and his superior leadership, had se- 
cured a majority in the legislature and was in a 
position to dictate terms to his opponents. Wel- 
ler's senatorial term would soon expire and 
Gwin's already two years vacant left two places 
to be filled. Broderick, who had heretofore 
been contending for Gwin's place, changed his 
tactics and aspired to fill the long term. Ac- 
cording to established custom, the filling of the 
vacancy would come up first, but Broderick, by 
superior finesse, succeeded in having the caucus 
nominate the successor to Weller first. Ex- 
Congressman Latham's friends were induced to 
favor the arrangement on the expectation that 
their candidate would be given the short term. 
Broderick was elected to the long term on the 
first ballot, January 9, 1857, and his commission 
was immediately made out and signed by the 
governor. For years he had bent his energies 
to securing the senatorship and at last he had 
obtained the coveted honor. But he was not 
satisfied yet. He aspired to control the federal 
patronage of the state; in this way he could 
reward his friends. He could dictate the elec- 
tion of his colleague for the short term. Both 
Gwin and Latham were willing to concede to 
him that privilege for the sake of an election. 
Latham tried to make a few reservations for 
some of his friends to whom he had promised 
places. Gwin offered to surrender it all with- 
out reservation. He had had enough of it. 
Gwin was elected and next day published an 
address, announcing his obligation to Broderick 
and renouncing any claim" to the distribution of 
the federal patronage. 

Then a wail long and loud went up from the 
chivalry, who for years had monopolized all the 
offices. That they, southern gentlemen of aris- 
tocratic antecedents, should be compelled to asl 
favors of a mudsill of the north was too hu- 
miliating to be borne. Latham, too, was indig- 
nant and Broderick found thai his triumph was 
but a hollow mockery. But the worst 
come. Tie who had done SO much to unite the 
warring Democracy and give the party a glo- 
rious victory in California at the presidential 
election of [856 full) expected the approbation 
of President Buchanan, but when he called on 



that old gentleman he was received coldly and 
during Buchanan's administration he was ig- 
nored and Gwin's advice taken and followed in 
making federal appointments. He returned to 
California in April, 1857, to secure the nomina- 
tion of his friends on the state ticket, but in 
this he was disappointed. The Gwin ele- 
ment was in the ascendency and John 
B. Weller received the nomination for gov- 
ernor. He was regarded as a martyr, having 
been tricked out of a re-election to the sen- 
ate by Broderick. There were other martyrs of 
the Democracy, who received balm for their 
wounds and sympathy for their sufferings at 
that convention. In discussing a resolution de- 
nouncing the vigilance committee, 0'Me.ara in 
his "History of Early Politics in California," 
says: "Col. Joseph P. Hoge, the acknowledged 
leader of the convention, stated that the com- 
mittee had hanged four men, banished twenty- 
eight and arrested two hundred and eighty; and 
that these were nearly all I democrats. 

On Broderick's return to the senate in the 
session of 1857-58, he cast his lot with Senator 
Douglas and opposed the admission of Kansas 
under the infamous Lecompton constitution. 
This cut him loose from the administration 
wing of the party. 

In the state campaign of 1859 Broderick ral- 
lied his followers under the Anti-Lecompton 
standard and Gwin his in support of the Bu- 
chanan administration. The party was hope- 
lessly divided. Two Democratic tickets were 
placed in the field. The Broderick ticket, with 
John Currey as governor, and the Gwin, with 
Milton Latham, the campaign was bitter. Brod- 
erick took the stump and although not an orator 
his denunciations of Gwin were scathing and 
merciless and in his fearful earnestness he be- 
came almosl eloquent. Gwin in turn loosed 
the vials of his wrath upon Broderick and 
criminations and recriminations Hew thick and 
fast during the campaign. It was a campaign 
df vituperation, but the first aggress< r was 

Judge Terry, in a speech before the Lecomp- 
ton convention at Sacramento in June, 1859, 
after flinging oul sneers at the Republican party, 
characterized Broderick's party as sailing "under 

the flag of Douglas, but it is the banner of the 
black Douglass, whose name is Frederick, not 
Stephen." This taunt was intended to arouse 
the wrath of Broderick. He read Terry's speech 
while seated at breakfast in the International 
hotel at San Francisco. Broderick denounced 
Terry's utterance in forcible language and 
closed by saying: "I have hitherto spoken of 
him as an honest man, as the only honest 
man on the bench of a miserable, corrupt su- 
preme court, but now I find I was mistaken. I 
take it all back." A lawyer by the name of Per- 
ley, a friend of Terry's, to whom the remark was 
directed, to obtain a little reputation, challenged 
Broderick. Broderick refused to consider Per- 
ley's challenge on the ground that he was not 
his (Broderick's) equal in standing and beside 
that he had declared himself a few days before 
a British subject. Perley did not stand very- 
high in the community. Terry had acted as a 
second for him in a duel a few years before. 

Broderick, in his reply to Perley, said: "I 
have determined to take no notice of attacks 
from any source during the canvass. If I were 
to accept your challenge, there are probably 
many other gentlemen who would seek similar 
opportunities for hostile meetings for the pur- 
pose of accomplishing a political object or to 
obtain public notoriety. I cannot afford at the 
present time to descend to a violation of the 
Constitution and state laws to subserve either 
their or your purposes." 

Terry a few days after the close of the cam- 
paign sent a letter to Broderick demanding a 
retraction of the offensive remarks. Broderick, 
well knowing that he would have to fight some 
representative of the chivalry if not several of 
them in succession, did not retract his remarks, 
lie had for several years, in expectation of such 
a result in a contest with them, practiced 
himself in the use of fire arms until he had be- 
come quite expert. 

A challenge followed, a meeting was arranged 
to take place in San Mateo county, ten miles 
from San Francisco, on the 12th of September. 
( 'hief of Police Burke appeared on the scene 
and arrested the principals. They were released 
by the court, no crime having been committed. 
They met next morning at the same place: ex- 



Congressman McKibben and David D. Colton 
were Broderick's seconds. Calhoun Benham 
and Thomas Hayes were Terry's. The pistols 
selected belonged to a friend of Terry's. Brod- 
erick was ill, weak and nervous, and it was said 
that his pistol was quicker on the trigger than 
Terry's. When the word was given it was dis- 
charged before it reached a level and the ball 
struck the earth, nine feet from where he stood. 
Terry fired, striking Broderick in the breast. 
He sank to the earth mortally wounded and died 
three days afterwards. Broderick dead was a 
greater man than Broderick living. For years 
he had waged a contest against the representa- 
tives of the slave oligarchy in California and the 
great mass of the people had looked on with 
indifference, even urging on his pursuers to the 
tragic end. Now that he was killed, the cry went 
up for vengeance on his murderers. Terry was 
arrested and admitted to bail in the sum of 
$10,000. The trial was put off on some pretext 
and some ten months later he obtained a change 
of venue to Marin county on the plea that he 
could not obtain a fair and impartial trial in San 
Francisco. His case was afterwards dismissed 
without trial by a pro-slavery judge named 
Hard)-. Although freed by the courts he was 
found guilty and condemned by public opinion. 
He went south and joined the Confederates at 
the breaking out of the Civil war. He some 
time after the close of the war returned to Cal- 
ifornia. In 1880 he was a presidential elector 
on the Democratic ticket. His colleagues on 
the ticket were elected, but he was defeated. 
He was killed at Lathrop by a deputy United 
States marshal while attempting an assault on 
United States Supreme Judge Field. 

In the hue and cry that was raised on the 
death of Broderick, the chivalry read the doom 
of their ascendency. Gwin, as he was about to 
take trie steamer on his return to Washington, 
"had flaunted in his face a large canvas frame, 
cm which was painted a portrait of Broderick 
and this: 'It is the will of the people that the 
murderers of Broderick do not return again to 
California;' and below were also these words 
attributed to Mr. Broderick: 'They have killed 
me because I was opposed to the extension of 
slavery, and a corrupt administration.'" 

Throughout his political career Broderick was 
a consistent anti-slavery man and a friend of 
the common people. Of all the politicians of the 
ante-bellum period, that is, before the Civil war, 
he stands to-day the highest in the estimation of 
the people of California. Like Lincoln, he was 
a self-made man. From a humble origin, 
unaided, he had fought his way up to a lofty po- 
sition. Had he been living during the war 
against the perpetuity of human slavery, he 
would have been a power in the senate or pos- 
sibly a commander on the field of battle. As it 
was, during that struggle in his adopted state, 
his name became a synonyn of patriotism and 
love for the Union. 

Milton S. Latham, who succeeded John B. 
VVeller as governor in i860, was. like his pred- 
ecessor, a northern man with southern prin- 
ciples. Almost from the date of his arrival in 
California he had been an office-holder. He was 
a man of mediocre ability. He was a state di- 
visionist and would have aided in that scheme 
by advocating in the senate of the United States 
(to which body he had been elected three days 
after his inauguration) the segregation of the 
southern counties and their formation into a 
new state with the hopes of restoring the equi- 
librium between the north and the south. But 
the time had passed for such projects. The 
lieutenant-governor, John G. Downey, suc- 
ceeded Latham. Downey gained great popu- 
larity by his veto of the "bulkhead bill." This 
was a scheme of the San Francisco Dock and 
Wharf Company to build a stone bulkhead 
around the city water front in consideration of 
having the exclusive privilege of collecting 
wharfage and tolls for fifty years. Down 
much of his popularity, particularly with the 
Union men, during the Civil war on account of 
his sympathy with the Confederates. 

At the state election in September. [861, Ice- 
land Stanford was chosen governor. He was 
the first Republican il office. He 

received fifty-six thou Two years 

before he had been a candidate for that office 
and received only ten thousand votes, so rap- 
idlv had publii '■ The news 

of the firing upon Fori £ ed San 

Francisco April -'4, twelve days after its oc- 


currence. It came by pony express. The be- 
ginning of hostilities between the north and the 
south stirred up a strong Union sentiment. The 
great Union mass meeting held in San Fran- 
cisco May ii, 1861, was the largest and most 
enthusiastic public demonstration ever held on 
the Pacific coast. The lines were sharply drawn 
between the friends of the government and its 
enemies. Former political alliances were for- 
gotten. Most of the Anti-Lecompton or Doug- 
las Democrats arrayed themselves on the side 
of the Union. The chivalry wing of the Dem- 
ocratic party were either open or secret sym- 
pathizers with the Confederates. Some of them 
were bold and outspoken in their disloyalty. 
The speech of Edmund Randolph at the Dem- 
ocratic convention July 24. 1861, is a sample 
of such utterances. * * * "To me it seems 
a waste of time to talk. For God's sake, tell 
me of battles fought and won. Tell me of 
usurpers overthrown; that Missouri is again a 
free state, no longer crushed under the armed 
heel of a reckless and odious despot. Tell me 
that the state of Maryland lives again; and, oh! 
gentlemen, let us read, let us hear, at the first 
moment, that not one hostile foot now treads 
the soil of Virginia! (Applause and cheers.) 
If this be rebellion, I am a rebel. Do you want 
a traitor, then I am a traitor. For God's sake, 
speed the ball; may the lead go quick to his 
heart, and may our country be free from the 
despot usurper that now claims the name 
of the president of the United States."* (Cheers.) 
Some of the chivalry Democrats, most of whom 
had been holding office in California for years, 
went south at the breaking out of the war to 
fight in the armies of the Confederacy, and 
among these was Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, 
who had been superseded in the command of 
the Pacific Department by < .en. Edwin V. Stun- 
ner. Johnston, with a number of fellow sym- 
pathizers, went south b) the overland route and 
was killed a year later, at the batik- of Shiloh, 
while in command of the Confederate army. 

One form of disloyally among the class 

known as "copperheads" (northern men with 

rn principles) was the advocacy of a Pa- 

cific republic. Most prominent among these 
was ex-Governor John B. W'eller. The move- 
ment was a thinly disguised method of aiding 
the southern Confederacy. The flag of the 
inchoate Pacific republic was raised in Stock- 
ton January 16, 1861. It is thus described by 
the Stockton Argus: "The flag is of silk of the 
medium size of the national ensign and with 
the exception of the Union (evidently a mis- 
nomer in this case) which contains a lone star 
upon a blue ground, is covered by a painting 
representing a wild mountain scene, a huge 
grizzly bear standing in the foreground and the 
words 'Pacific Republic' near the upper border." 
The flag raising was not a success. At first it 
was intended to raise it in the city. But as it 
became evident this would not be allowed, it was 
raised to the mast head of a vessel in the slough. 
It was not allowed to float there long. The hal- 
yards were cut and a boy was sent up the mast 
to pull it down. The owner of the flag was con- 
vinced that it was not safe to trifle with the 
loyal sentiment of the people. 

At the gubernatorial election in September, 
1863, Frederick F. Low, Republican, was 
chosen over John G. Downey, Democrat, by a 
majority of over twenty thousand. In some parts 
of the state Confederate sympathizers were 
largely in the majority. This was the case in 
Los Angeles and in some places in the San 
Joaquin valley. Several of the most outspoken 
were arrested and sent to Fort Alcatraz, where 
they soon became convinced of the error of 
their ways and took the oath of allegiance. 
When the news of the assassination of Lincoln 
reached San Francisco, a mob destroyed the 
newspaper plants of the Democratic Press. 
edited by Beriah Brown ; the Occidental, edited 
by Zach. Montgomery: the News Letter, edited 
by F. Marriott, and the Monitor, a Catholic 
paper, edited by Thomas A. Brady. These were 
virulent copperhead sheets that had heaped 
abuse upon the martyred president. Had the 
proprietors of these journals been found the 
mob would, in the excitement that prevailed, 
have treated them with violence. After this 
demonstration Confederate sympathizers kept 

> alifornia. 




THE beginning of the ocean commerce of 
California was the two mission transport 
ships that came every year to bring sup- 
plies for the missions and presidios and take 
back what few products there were to send. 
The government fixed a price upon each and 
every article of import and export. There was 
no cornering the market, no bulls or bears in 
the wheat pit, no rise or fall in prices except 
when ordered by royal authority. An Arancel 
de Precios (fixed rate of prices) was issued at 
certain intervals, and all buying and selling was 
governed accordingly. These arancels include 1 
everything in the range of human needs — phys- 
ical, spiritual or mental. According to a tariff 
of prices promulgated by Governor Fages in 
1788, which had been approved by the audencia 
and had received the royal sanction, the price 
of a Holy Christ in California was fixed at 
$1.75, a wooden spoon six cents, a horse $9, a 
deerskin twenty-five cents, red pepper eighteen 
cents a pound, a dozen of quail twenty-five 
cents, brandy seventy-five cents per pint, and 
so on throughout the list. 

In 1785 an attempt was made to open up 
trade between California and China, the com- 
modities for exchange being seal and otter 
skins for quicksilver. The trade in peltries was 
to be a government monopoly. The skins were 
to be collected from the natives by the mission 
friars, who were to sell them to a government 
agent at prices ranging from $2.50 to Sin each. 
The neophytes must give up to the friars all 
the skins in their possession. All trade by citi- 
zens or soldiers was prohibited ami any one 
attempting to deal in peltries otherwise than 
the regularly ordained authorities was liable, if 
found out, to have his goods confiscated. 
Spain's attempt to engage in the fur trade was 
not a success. The blighting monopoly of 
church and state nipped it in the bud. It died 

out, and the government bought quicksilver, 
on which also it had a monop >ly, with coin in- 
stead of otter skins. 

After the government abandoned the fur trade 
the American smugglers began to gather up 
the peltries, and the California producer re- 
ceived better prices for his furs than the mis- 
sionaries paid. 

The Yankee smuggler had no arancel of 
prices fixed by royal edict. His price ICt va- 
ried according to circumstances. As his trade 
was illicit and iiis vessel and her cargo were in 
danger of confiscation if he was caught, his scale 
of prices ranged high. But he paid a higher 
price for the peltries than the government, and 
that was a consolation to the seller. The com- 
merce with the Russian settlements of the 
northwest in the early years of the century fur- 
nished a limited market for the grain produced 
at some of the missions, hut the Russians 
helped themselves to the otter and the seal of 
California without saying "By your leave" and 
they were not welcome visitors. 

During the -Mexican revolution, as has been 
previously mentioned, trade sprang up !>< 
Lima and California in tallow, but it was of 
short duration During the Spanish era it can 
hardly be said that California had air 
merce. Foreign vessels were not allowed to 
enter her ports except when in distress, anil 
their stay was limited to the sin rtesl time pos 
sible required to make repairs and take on 

It was not until Mexico gained her inde- 
pendence ami removed the pi scriptive regu- 
lations with which Spain had hampered com- 
merce that t 1 ]- rs opened up trade 
between New England and 'California. This 
trade, which b ■ ■ grew t . • consider- 
able prop irtii n~ Tlie hide droghers were emi- 
grant -hips as well as mercantile vessels. By 



these came most of the Americans who settled 
in California previous to 1840. The hide and 
tallow trade, the most important item of com- 
merce in the Mexican era, reached its maximum 
in [834, when the great mission herds were, by 
order of the padres, slaughtered to prevent them 
from falling into the hands of the government 
commissioners. Thirty-two vessels came to the 
coast that year, marly all of which were en- 
gaged in the hide and tallow trade. 

During the year 1845, the last of Mexican 
rule, sixty vessels visited the coast. These 
were not all trading vessels; eight were men- 
of-war, twelve were whalers and thirteen came 
on miscellaneous business. The total amount 
received at the custom house for revenue during 
that year was $140,000. The majority of the 
vessels trading on the California coast during 
the Mexican era sailed under the stars and 
stripes. Mexico was kinder to California than 
Spain, and under her administration commer- 
cial relations were established to a limited ex- 
lent with foreign nations. Her commerce at 
best was feeble and uncertain. The revenue laws 
and their administration were frequently 
changed, and the shipping merchant was never 
sure wiiat kind of a reception his cargo would 
receive from the custom house officers. The 
duties on imports from foreign countries were 
exorbitant and there was always more or less 
smuggling carried on. The people and the 
padres, when they were a power, gladly wel- 
comed the arrival of a trading vessel on the 
coast and were not averse to buying goods that 
had escaped the tariff if they could do so with 
safety. As there was no land tax, the revenue 
on goods supported the expenses of the govern- 

Never in the world's history did any country 
develop an ocean commerce so quickly as did 
California after the discovery of gold. When 
the news spread abroad, the first ships to 
arrive came from Peru, Chile and the South 
Sea islands. The earliesl published notice oi 
the gold discovery appeared in the Baltimore 
Sun, September jo, [848, eight months after it 
was made. At first the Story was ridiculed, hut 
as confirmatory reports came thick and fast, 
preparations began for a grand rush for the 

gold mines. Vessels of all kinds, seaworthy 
and unseaworthy, were overhauled and fitted 
out for California'. The American trade with 
California had gone by way of Cape Horn or 
the Straits of Magellan, and this was the route 
that was taken by the pioneers. Then there 
were short cuts by the way of the Isthmus of 
Panama, across Mexico and by Nicaragua. The 
first vessels left the Atlantic seaports in No- 
vember, 1848. By the middle of the winter one 
hundred vessels had sailed from Atlantic and 
Gulf seaports, and by spring one hundred and 
fifty more had taken their departure, all of them 
loaded with human freight and with supplies of 
every description. Five hundred and forty- 
nine vessels arrived in San Francisco in nine 
months, forty-five reaching that port in one day. 
April 12, 1848, before the treaty of peace 
with Mexico had been proclaimed by the Presi- 
dent, the Pacific Mail Steamship Company was 
incorporated with a capital of $500,000. Asto- 
ria. ( >rc., was to have been the Pacific terminus 
of the company's line, but it never got there 
The discovery of gold in California made San 
Francisco the end of its route. The contract 
with the government gave the company a sub- 
sidy of $200,000 for maintaining three steamers 
on the Pacific side between Panama and Asto- 
ria. The first of these vessels, the California, 
sailed from New York October 6, 1848, for San 
Francisco and Astoria via Cape Horn. She 
was followed in the two succeeding months by 
the < (regon and the Panama. On the Atlantic 
side the vessels of the line for several years 
were the ( >hio, Illinois and Georgia. The ves- 
sels 011 the Atlantic side were fifteen hundred 
tons burden, while those on the Pacific were a 
thousand tons. Freight and passengers by the 
Panama route were transported across the isth- 
mus by boats up the Chagres river to Gorgona, 
and then by mule-back to Panama. In 1855 the 
Panama railroad was completed. This greatly 
facilitated travel and transportation. The At- 
lantic terminus of the road was Aspinwall, now 
called 1 1 > 1 < m. 

Another hue of travel and commerce between 
the states and California in early days was the 
Nicaragua route. By that route passengers on 
the Atlantic side landed at San Juan del Norte 



or Greytown. From there they took a river 
steamer and ascended the Rio San Juan to Lake 
Nicaragua, then in a larger vessel the) crossed 
the lake to La Virgin. From there a distance 
of about twelve miles was made on foot or on 
mule-back to San Juan del Sur, where they re- 
embarked on board the ocean steamer for San 

The necessity for the speed)' shipment of mer- 
chandise to California before the days of trans- 
continental railroads at a minimum cost evolved 
the clipper ship. These vessels entered quite 
early into the California trade and soon displaced 
the short, clumsy vessels of a few hundred tons 
burden that took from six to ten months to 
make a voyage around the Horn. The clipper 
ship Flying Cloud, which arrived at San Fran- 
cisco in August, 185 1, made the voyage from 
Xew York in eighty-nine days. These vessels 
were built long and narrow and carried heavy- 
sail. Their capacity ranged from one to two 
thousand tons burden. The overland railroads 
took away a large amount of their business. 

Capt. Jedediah S. Smith, as previously stated, 
was the real pathfinder of the western moun- 
tains and plains. He marked out the route 
from Salt Lake by way of the Rio Virgin, the 
Colorado and the Cajon Pass to Los Angeles 
in [826. This route was extensively traveled 
by the belated immigrants of the early '50s. 
Those reaching Salt Lake City too late in the 
season to cross the Sierra Nevadas turned 
southward and entered California by Smith's 

The early immigration to California came by 
way of Fort Hall. From there it turned south- 
erly. At Fort Hall the Oregon and California 
immigrants separated. The disasters that be- 
fell the Donner party were broughl upon them 
by their taking the Hastings cut-oft', which was 
represented to them as saving two hundred and 
fifty miles. It was shorter, but the time spent 
in making a wagon road through a rough coun- 
try delayed them until they were caught by the 
snows in the mountain-;. Lassen's cut-off was 
another rout-? that broughl disaster and delays 
to many of the immigrants who were induced 
to take it. The route up the Platte through the 

South Pass of the Rocky mountains and down 
the Humboldt received by far the larger amount 
of travel. 

The old Santa Fe trail from Independence to 
Santa Fe, and from there by the old Spanish 
trail around the north bank of the Colorado 
across the Rio Virgin down the Mojave river 
and through the Cajon Pass to Los Angeles, 
was next in importance. Another route by 
which much of the southern emigration came 
was what was known as the Gila route. It 
started at Fort Smith, Ark., thence via El Paso 
and Tucson and down the Gila to Yuma, thence 
across the desert through the San Gorgono 
Pass to Los Angeles. In 1852 it was estimated 
one thousand wagons came by this route. There 
was another route still further south than this 
which passed through the northern states of 
Mexico, but it was not popular on account of 
the hostility of the Mexicans and the Apaches. 

The first overland stage line was established 
in 1857. The route extended from San Antonio 
de Bexar, Tex., to San Diego, via El Paso, Mes- 
siilo, Tucson and Colorado City (now Yuma). 
The service was twice a month. The contract 
was let to James E. Burch, the Postal Depart- 
ment reserving "the right to curtail or discon- 
tinue the service should any route subsequently 
put under contract cover the whole or any por- 
tion of the route." The San Diego Herald, 
August t2, 1857. thus notes the departure of the 
first mail by that route: "The pioneer mail 
train from San Diego to San Antonio. Tex., 
under the contract entered into by the govern- 
ment with Mr. James Burch, left here on the 
9th inst. (August o, [857) at an early hour in 
the morning, and is now pushing its way for the 
east at a rapid rate. The mail was of course 
carried on pack animals, as will be the case 
until wagons which are being pushed across will 
have been put on the line. * : The first 

mail from the other side has not yel arrived, 
although somewhat overdue, and conjecture is 
rife as to the cause of the delay." The eastern 
mail arrived a few days later. 

The service continued to improve, and the 
fifth trip from the eastern terminus to San 
Diego "was made in the extraordinary short 


time of twenty-six 'lays and twelve hours," and 
the San Diego Herald on this arrival, October 
6, [857, rushed out an extra "announcing the 
ver) gratifying fact of the complete triumph of 
the southern route notwithstanding the croak- 
1 many of the opponents of the adminis- 
tration in this state." But the "triumph of the 
southern route" was of short duration. In 
September, 1858, the stages of the Butterfield 
line began making their semi-weekly trips. 
This route from its western terminus, San Fran- 
cisco, came down the coast to Gilroy, thence 
through Pacheco Pass to the San Joaquin val- 
ley, up the valley and by way of Fort Tejon to 
1 os Angeles; from there eastward by Temecula 
and Warner's to Yuma, thence following very 
nearly what is now the route of the Southern 
Pacific Railroad through Arizona and Xew Mex- 
ico to El Paso, thence turning northward to 
Fort Smith, Ark. There the route divided, one 
branch going to St. Louis and the other to 
Memphis. The mail route from San Antonio 
to San Diego was discontinued. 

The Butterfield stage line was <mc of the long- 
est continuous lines ever organized. Its length 
was two thousand eight hundred and eighty 
miles. It began operation in September. [858. 
'I be first stage from the east reached Los 
Angeles October 7 and San Francisco October 
to. A mass-meeting was held at San Francisco 
the evening of October 11 "for the purpose of 
expressing the sense entertained by the people 
of the city of the great benefits she is to re- 
ceive from the establishment of the overland 
mail." Col. J. B. Crocket acted as president 
and Frank M. Pixley as secretary. The speaker 
of ili.' evening in his enthusiasm said: "In my 
opinion one of the greatesl blessings that could 
befall Califi rnia would be to discontinue at 
all communication by steamer between San 
Francisco and New York. < m yesterday we 
received advices from New York, New Orleans 
and St. Louis in less than twenty-four days via 
I I Paso. Nexl to the discovery of gold this is 
th" mosi importanl fad yel developed in the 
Iu'sti rj of California." W. L. Ormsby, special 
ml. 11! -if the Vew York Herald, the 
1 1 only through passenger by the over- 

land mail coming in three hours less than 
twenty-lour days, was introduced to the audi- 
ence and was greeted with terrific applause. He 
gave a description of the route and some inci- 
dents of the journey. 

The government gave the Butterfield com- 
pany a subsidy of $600,000 a year for a service 
of two mail coaches each way a week. In 1859 
the postal revenue from this route was only 
$27,000, leaving Uncle Sam more than half a 
million dollars out of pocket. At the breaking 
out of the Civil war the southern overland mail 
route was discontinued and a contract was made 
with Butterfield for a six-times-a-week mail by 
the central route via Salt Lake City, with a 
branch line to Denver. The eastern terminus 
was at first St. Joseph, but on account of the 
war it was changed to Omaha. The western 
terminus was Placerville, Cab, time twenty 
days for eight months, and twenty-three days 
for the remaining four months. The contract 
was for three years at an annual subsidy of 
$1,000,000. The last overland stage contract 
for carrying the mails was awarded to Wells, 
Fargo & Co., October 1, 1868, for $1,750,000 
per annum, with deductions for carriage by rail- 
way. The railway was rapidly reducing the dis- 
tance of stage travel. 

The only inland commerce during the Mexi- 
can era was a few bands of mules sold to New- 
Mexican traders and driven overland to Santa 
Fe by the old Spanish trail and one band of 
cattle sold to the Oregon settlers in 1837 and 
driven by the coast route to Oregon City. The 
Californians had no desire to open up an inland 
trade with their neighbors and the traders and 
trappers who came overland were not welcome. 

After the discovery of gold, freighting to the 
mines became an important business. Supplies 
had to be taken bj pack trains and wagons. 
Freight charges were excessively high at first. 
!n [848, "it cost $5 to carry a hundred pounds 
of goods from Sutter's Fort to the lower 
mines, a distance of twenty miles, and $10 per 
hundred weight for freight to the upper mines, 
a distance of forty miles. Two horses can draw 
one thousand live hundred pounds." In Decem- 
ber. [849, the loads were almost impassable 


and teamsters were charging from $40 to $50 a 
hundred pounds for hauling freight from Sacra- 
mento to Mormon Island. 

In 1855 an inland trade was opened up be- 
tween Los Angeles and Salt Lake City. The 
first shipment was made by Banning and Alex- 
ander. The wagon train consisted of fifteen 
ten-mule teams heavily freighted with merchan- 
dise. The venture was a success financially. 
The train left Los Angeles in May and returned 
in September, consuming four months in the 
journey. The trade increased and became quite 
an important factor in the business of the south- 
ern part of the state. In 1859 sixty wagons 
were loaded for Salt Lake in the month of 
January, and in March of the same year one 
hundred and fifty loaded with goods were sent 
to the Mormon capital. In 1865 and 1866 there 
was a considerable shipment of goods from Los 
Angeles to Idaho and Montana by wagon trains. 
These trains went by way of Salt Lake. This 
trade was carried on during the winter months 
when the roads over the Sierras and the Rocky 
mountains were blocked with snow. 

Freighting by wagon train to Washoe funned 
a very important part of the inland commerce 
of California between 1850 and 1869. The im- 
mense freight wagons called "prairie schooners" 
carried almost as much as a freight car. The 
old-time teamster, like the old-time stage driver, 
was a unique character. Both have disappeared. 
Their occupation is gone. We shall never look 
on their like again. 

The pony express rider came early in the his- 
tory of California. Away back in 1775. when 
the continental congress made Benjamin Frank- 
lin postmaster-general of the United Colonies, 
on the Pacific coast soldier couriers, fleet 
mounted, were carrying their monthly budgets 
of mail between Monterey in Alta California, 
and Loreto, near the southern extremity of the 
peninsula of Lower California, a distance of one 
thousand five hundred miles. 

In the winter of 1859-60 a Wall street lobby 
was in Washington trying to get an appropria- 
tion of $5,000,000 for carrying the mails one 
year between Xew York and San Francisco. 
William II. Russell, of the linn of Russell, Ma- 

jors & Waddell, then engaged in running a 
daily stage line between the Missouri river and 
Salt Lake City, hearing of the lobby's efforts, 
offered to bet $200,000 that he could put on a 
mail line between San Francisco and St. Joseph, 
that could make- the distance, one thousand nine 
hundred and fifty miles, in ten days. The wager 
was accepted. Russell and his business man- 
ager, A. B. Miller, an old plains man, bought 
the fleetest horses they could find in the west 
and employed one hundred and twenty-five 
riders selected with reference to their light 
weight and courage. It was essential that the 
horses should be loaded as lightly as possible. 
The horses were stationed from ten to twenty 
miles apart and each rider was required to ride 
seventy-five miles. For change of horses and 
mail bag two minutes were allowed, at each 
station. One man took care of the two horses 
kept there. Everything being arranged a start 
was made from St. Joseph, April 3, i860. The 
bet was to be decided on the race eastward. At 
meridian on April 3. [860, a signal gun on a 
steamer at Sacramento proclaimed the hour of 
starting. At that signal Mr. Miller's private 
saddle horse, Border Ruffian, with his rider 
bounded away toward the foothills of the Sierra 
Xevadas. The first twenty miles were covered 
in forty-nine minutes. All went well till the 
riatte river was reached. The river was swollen 
by recent rain. Rider and horse plunged boldly 
into it, but the horse mired in the quicksands 
and was drowned. The rider carrying the mail 
bag footed it ten miles to the next relax sta- 
tion. When the courier arrived at the sixty- 
mile station out from St. Joseph he was one 
hour behind time. The last one had just three 
hours and thirty minutes in which to make the 
sixty miles and win the race. A heavy rain 
was falling and the mad- were slippery, but 
with six horses to make the distance he 
with five minutes anil a fraction to spare. 
thus was finished the longest race for the larg- 
est stake ever run in America. 

The pony express requin work 

nearly five hundred horse-, about "lie hundred 
and niiiet) stations, twi 1 hundred station keepers 
and over a hundred riders. Each rider usually 
rode the horses on about sevent) five miles. 



but sometimes much greater distances were 
made. Robert 11. Haslam, Pony Bob, made on 
one occasion a continuous ride of three hundred 
and eight v miles and William F. Cody, now fa- 
mous as Buffalo Bill, in one continuous trip 
rode three hundred and eighty-four miles, 
stopping only for meals, and to change 

The pony express was a semi-weekly service. 
Fifteen pounds was the limit of the weight of 
the waterproof mail bag and its contents. The 
postage or charge was $5 on a letter of half an 
ounce. The limit was two hundred letters, but 
sometimes there were not more than twenty in 
a bag. The line never paid. The shortest time 
ever made by the pony express was seven days 
and seventeen hours. This was in March, 1861, 
when it carried President Lincoln's message. 
At first telegraphic messages were received at 
St. Joseph up to five o'clock p. m. of the day 
of starting and sent to San Francisco on the 
express, arriving at Placerville. which was then 
the eastern terminus of the line. The pony ex- 
press was suspended October 27, 1S61, on the 
completion of the telegraph. 

The first stage line was established between 
Sacramento anil Mormon Island in September, 
1849, fare $16 to $32, according to times. 
Sacramento was the great distributing point for 
the mines and was also the center from which 
radiated numerous stage lines. In 1853 a dozen 
lines were owned there and the total capital in- 
vested in staging was estimated at $335,000. 
There were lines running to Coloma, Nevada, 
Placerville. Georgetown, Yankee Jim's, Jack- 
son, Stockton, Shasta and Auburn. In 1851 
Stockton had seven daily stages. The first stage 
line between San Francisco and San Jose was 
established in April. 1850, fare $32. A number 
of lines were consolidated. In [860 the Califor- 
nia stage company controlled eight lines north- 
ward, thelongesl extending seven hundred and 
ten miles to Portland with sixty stations, thirty- 
five drivers and five hundred burses, eleven 
drivers and one hundred and fifty horses per- 
taining to the rest. There were seven indepen 
dent lines covering four hundred and sixty-four 
miles, chiefly east and south, the longest to Vir- 

ginia City.* These lines disappeared with the 
advent of the railroad. 

The pack train was a characteristic feature of 
early mining days. Many of the mountain 
camps were inaccessible to wagons and the only 
means of shipping in goods was by pack tram. 
A pack train consisted of from ten to twenty 
mules each, laden with from two hundred to 
four hundred pounds. The load was fastened on 
the animal by means of a pack saddle which 
was held in its place by a cinch tightly laced 
around the animal's bod}'. The sure-footed 
mules could climb steep grades and wind round 
narrow^ trails on the side of steep mountains 
without slipping or tumbling over the cliffs. 
Mexicans were the most expert packers. 

The scheme to utilize camels and dromedaries 
as beasts of burden on the arid plains of the 
southwest was agitated in the early fifties. The 
chief promoter if not the originator of the 
project was Jefferson Davis, afterwards presi- 
dent of the Southern Confederacy. During the 
last days of the congress of 185 1, Mr. Davis 
offered an amendment to the army appropria- 
tion bill appropriating $30,000 for the purchase 
of thirty camels and twenty dromedaries. The 
bill was defeated. When Davis was secretary 
of war in [854, congress appropriated $30,000 
for the purchase and importation of camels and 
in December of that year Major C. Wayne was 
sent to Egypt and Arabia to buy seventy-five. 
He secured the required number and shipped 
them on the naval store ship Supply. They 
were landed at Indianola, Tex.. February 10, 
1857. Three had died on the voyage. About 
half of the herd were taken to Albuquerque, 
where an expedition was fitted out under the 
command of Lieutenant Beale for Fort Tejon. 
Cal. : the other half was employed in packing on 
the plains of Texas and in the Gadsen Purchase, 
as Southern Arizona was then called. 

It very soon became evident that the camel 
experiment would not be a success. The Amer- 
ican teamster could not be converted into an 
Arabian camel driver. From the very first meet 
ing there was a mutual antipathy between the 

1 861. 


American mule whacker and the beast of the 
prophet. The teamsters when transformed into 
camel drivers deserted and the troopers refused 
to have anything to do with the misshapen 
beasts. So because there was no one to load 
and navigate these ships of the desert their 
voyages became less and less frequent, until 
finally they ceased altogether; and these desert 
ships were anchored at the different forts in 
the southwest. After the breaking out of the 
Civil war the camels at the forts in Texas and 
New Mexico were turned loose to shift for 
themselves. Those in Arizona and California 
were condemned and sold by the government to 
two Frenchmen who used them for packing, 
first in Nevada and later in Arizona, but tiring 
of the animals they turned them out on the 
desert. Some of these camels or possibly their 
descendants are still roaming over the arid 
plains of southern Arizona and Sonora. 

The first telegraph was completed September 
it, 1853. It extended from the business quar- 
ter of San Francisco to the Golden Gate and 
was used for signalling vessels. The first long 
line connected Marysville, Sacramento, Stock- 
ton and San Jose. This was completed October 
24, 1853. Another line about the same time 
was built from San Francisco to Placerville by 
way of Sacramento. A line was built southward 
from San Jose along the Butterfield overland 
mail route to Los Angeles in i860. The Over- 
land Telegraph, begun in 1858, was completed 
November 7, 1861. 

The first express for the States was sent un- 
der the auspices of the California Star (news- 
paper). The Star of March I, 1848, contained 
the announcement that "We are about to send 
letters by express to the States at fifty cents 
each, papers twelve and a half cents; to start 
April 15; any mail arriving after that time will 
be returned to the writers. The Star refused 
to send copies of its rival, The Californian, in its 

The first local express was started by Charles 
L. Cady in August, 1847. It left San Francisco 
every Monday and Fort Sacramento, its other 
terminus, every Thursday. Letters twenty-five 
cents. Its route was by way of Saucelito, Napa 
and Petaluma to Sacramento. 

Weld & Co.'s express was established in Oc- 
tober, 1849. This express ran from San Fran- 
cisco to Marysville, having its principal offices 
in San Francisco, Benicia and Sacramento. It 
was the first express of any consequence estab- 
lished in California. Its name was changed to 
Hawley & Co.'s express. The first trip was 
made in the .Mint, a sailing vessel, and took 
six days. Afterward it was transferred to the 
steamers Hartford and McKim. The company 
paid these boats $800 per month for the use of 
one state room; later for the same accommoda- 
tion it paid $1,500 per month. The Alta Cali- 
fornia of January 7, 1850, says: "There arc si > 
many new express companies daily starting that 
we can scarcely keep the run of them." 

The following named were the principal com- 
panies at that time: Hawley & Co., Angel, 
Young & Co., Todd, Bryan, Stockton Express, 
Henly, McKnight & Co., Brown, Knowlton & 
Co. The business of these express companies 
consisted largely in carrying letters to the 
mines. The letters came through the postoffice 
in San Francisco, but the parties to whom they 
were addressed were in the mines. While the 
miner would gladly give an ounce to hear from 
home he could not make the trip to the Bay at 
a loss of several hundred dollars in time and 
money. The express companies obviated this 
difficulty. The Alta of July 2j, 1850. says: "We 
scarcely know what we should do if it were in >t 
for the various express lines established which 
enable us to hold communication with the mines. 
With the present defective mail communication 
we should scarcely ever be able to hear from 
the towns throughout California or from the 
remote portions of the Placers north or south. 
Hawley & Co., Todd & Bryan and Besford & 
Co. are three lines holding communication with 
different sections of the country. Adams & Co. 
occupy the whole of a large building on Mont- 
gomery street." 

Adams & Co.. established in 1850, soon be- 
came the leading express company of the coast. 
It absorbed a number of minor companies. It 
established relays of the fastesl horses to carry 
the express to the mining towns. As early as 
1852 the company's lines had penetrated the re- 
mote mining camps. Some of its riders per- 



formed feats in riding that exceeded the famous 
puny express riders. Isaac W. Elwell made the 
trip between I'lacerville and Sacramento in two 
hours and fifty minutes, distance sixty-four 
miles; Frank Ryan made seventy-five miles in 
four hours and twenty minutes. On his favorite 
horse. Colonel, he made twenty miles in fifty- 
live minutes. Adams & Co. carried on a bank- 
ing business and had branch banks in all the 
leading mining towns. They also became a po- 

litical power. In the great financial crash of 
1855 they failed and in their failure ruined thou- 
sands of their depositors. Wells, Fargo & Co. 
express was organized in 1851. It weathered 
the financial storm that carried down Adams & 
Co. It gained the confidence of the people of 
the Pacific coast and has never betrayed it. Its 
business has grown to immense proportions. It 
is one of the leading express companies of the 



THE agitation of the Pacific railroad ques- 
tion began only two years after the first 
passenger railway was put in operation 
in the United States. The originator of the 
scheme to secure the commerce of Asia by a 
transcontinental railway from the Atlantic to 
the Pacific was Ilartwell Carver, grandson of 
the famous explorer, Jonathan Carver. He 
published articles in the New York Courier and 
Inquirer in 1832 elaborating his idea, and 
memorialized congress on the subject. The 
western terminus was to be on the Columbia 
river. I lis road was to be made of stone. There 
were to be sleeping cars and dining cars at- 
tached to each train. In 1836, John Plumbe. 
then a resident of Dubuque, Iowa, advocated 
the building of a railroad from Lake Michigan 
to 1 Iregon. At a public meeting held in Du- 
buque. March 26. 1838, which Plumbe ad- 
1, a memorial to congress was drafted 
"praying for an appropriation to defray the ex- 
pense of the survey and location of the first link 
in the greal Atlantic and Pacific railroad, name- 
ly, from the lakes to the Mississippi.*' Their 
application was Eavorabl) received and an ap- 
propriation being made the same year, which 
was expended under the direction of the secre- 
tary of war. the reporl being of a ver) favorable 

Plumbe received the indorsement of the Wis- 

11 E Califi 'Mii.u Vol VII., i>. 499. 

consin legislature of 1839-40 and a memorial 
was drafted to congress urging the continuance 
of the work. Plumbe went to Washington to 
urge his project. Put the times were out of 
joint for great undertakings. The financial 
panic of 1837 had left the government revenues 
in a demoralized condition. Plumbe"s plan was 
to issue stock to the amount of $100,000,000 
divided in shares of $5 each. The government 
was to appropriate alternate sections of the 
public lands along the line of the road. Five 
million dollars were to be called in for the first 
installment. After this was expended in building, 
the receipts from the sale of the lands was to 
continue the building of the road. One hundred 
miles were to be built each year and twenty 
years was the time set for the completion of the 
road. A bill granting the subsidy and authoriz- 
ing the building of the road was introduced in 
congress, but was defeated by the southern 
members who feared that it would foster the 
growth of free states. 

The man best known in connection with the 
early agitation of the Pacific railroad scheme. 
is Asa Whitney, of New York. For a time he 
acted with Carver in promulgating the project, 
I nt 1,10k up a plan of his own. Whitney wanted 
a strip of land sixty miles wide along the whole 
length of the road, which would have given 
about one hundred million acres of the public 
domain. Whitney's scheme called forth a great 
deal of discussion. ft was feared by some 



timorous souls that such a monopoly would 
endanger the government and by others that 
ir would bankrupt the public treasury. The agi- 
tation was kept up for several years. The 
acquisition of California and Xew .Mexico threw 
the project into politics. The question of de- 
pleting the treasury or giving away the public 
domain no longer worried the pro-slavery poli- 
ticians in congress. The question that agitated 
them now was how far south could the road 
be deflected so that it would enhance the value 
of the lands over which they hoped to spread 
their pet institution — human slavery. 

Another question that agitated the members 
of congress was whether the road should be 
built by the government — should be a national 
road. The route which the road should take 
was fought over year after year in congress. 
The south would not permit the north to have 
the road for fear that freemen would absorb the 
public lands and build up free states. It was 
the old dog-in-the-manger policy so character- 
istic of the southern proslavery politicians. 

The California newspapers early took up the 
discussion and routes were thick as leaves in 
Valambrosa. In the Star of May 13, 1848, Dr. 
John Marsh outlines a route which was among 
the best proposed: "From the highest point on 
the Bay of San Francisco to which seagoing 
vessels can ascend; thence up the valley of the 
San Joaquin two hundred and fifty miles; 
thence through a low pass (Walker's) to the 
valley of the Colorado and thence through Ari- 
zona and New Mexico by the Santa Fe trail to 
Independence, Mo." 

Routes were surveyed and the reports of the 
engineers laid before congress; memorials were 
received from the people of California praying 
for a road; bills were introduced and discussed, 
but the years passed and the Pacific railroad 
was not begun. Slavery, that "sum of all vil- 
lainies." was an obstruction more impassable 
than the mountains and deserts that intervened 
between the Missouri and the Pacific. Southern 
politicians, aided and abetted by Gwin of Cali- 
fornia neutralized every attempt. 

One of the first of several local railroad 
projects resulted in something more than 
resolutions, public meetings and the election of 

a board of directors that never directed any- 
thing was tlie building of a railroad from San 
Francisco to San Jose. The agitation was be- 
gun early in 1850 and by February, 1851, $100,- 
000 had been subscribed. September 6 of that 
year a company was organized and the pro- 
jected road given the high sounding title of the 
Pacific & Atlantic railroad. Attempts were 
made to secure subscriptions for its stock in 
Xew York and in Europe, but without success. 
Congress was appealed to, but gave no assist- 
ance and all that there was to the road for ten 
years was its name. In [859 a new organization 
was effected under the name of the San Fran- 
cisco & San Jose railroad company. An at- 
tempt was made to secure a subsidy of $900,- 
000 from the three counties through which the 
road was to pass, but this failed and the corpora- 
lion dissolved. Another organization, the 
fourth, was effected with a capital stuck of 
$2,000,000. The construction of the road was 
begun in October, i860, and completed to San 
Jose January 16, 1864. 

The first railroad completed and put 'into suc- 
cessful operation in California was the Sacra- 
mento Valley road. It was originally intended 
to extend the road from Sacramento through 
Placer and Sutter counties to Mountain City, 
in Yuba county, a distance of about forty miles. 
It came to a final stop at a little over half that 
distance. Like the San lose road the question 
of building was agitated several years before 
anything was really done. In [853 the company 
was reorganized under the railroad aet of that 
year. Under the previous organization sub- 
scriptions had been obtained. The Sacramento 
Union of September 19, [852, says: "'"LI 1. 
of the Sacramento Valley railroad company 
were to have been opened in San Francisco 
Wednesday. Upwards of $200,000 of the 1 
sary stock has been subscribed from here." 
The Union of September 24 announces. "That 
over $600,000 had already been subscrib 
San Francisco and Sacramento." Under the re- 
organization a new board \\ .ember 
12, 1853. C. L. Wilson was made president; 
F. W. Page, treasurer, and \\". II V 
retary. Theodore I >. Judah, afterwards famous 
in California railroad building, was employed as 


engineer and the construction of the road began 
in February, 1855. It was completed to Fol- 
som a, distance of twenty-two miles from Sacra- 
mento and the formal opening of the road for 
business took place February 22, 1856. Accord- 
ing to the secretary's report for 1857 the earn- 
ings of that year averaged $18,000 per month. 
The total earnings for the year amounted to 
$216,000; the expenses $84,000, leaving a profit 
of $132,000. The cost of the road and its equip- 
ment was estimated at $700,000. From this 
showing it would seem that California's first 
railroad ought to have been a paying invest- 
ment, but it was not. Money then was worth 
5 per cent a month and the dividends from the 
road about 18 per cent a year. The difference 
between one and a half per cent and 5 per cent 
a month brought the road to a standstill. 

Ten years had passed since California had 
become a state and had its representatives in 
congress. In all these years the question of a 
railroad had come up in some form in that body, 
yet the railroad seemingly was as far from a 
consummation as it had been a decade before. 
In 1859 the silver mines of the Washoe were 
discovered and in the winter of 1859-60 the 
great silver rush began. An almost continuous 
stream of wagons, pack trains, horsemen and 
footmen poured over the Sierra Xevadas into 
Carson Valley and up the slopes of Mount 
Davidson to Virginia City. The main line of 
travel was by way of Placerville, through John- 
son's Pass to Carson City. An expensive toll 
road was built over the mountains and monster 
freight wagons hauled great loads of merchan- 
dise and mill machinery to the mines. "In 1863 
the tolls on the new road amounted to $300,000 
and the freight bills on mills and merchandise 
summed up $13.000.0. « 1." 

The rush to Washoe gave a new impetus to 
railroad projecting. A convention of the whole 
coast had been held at San Francisco in Sep- 
tember, [859, hut nothing came of it beyond 
propositions and resolutions. Early in [86i, 
Theodore 1". Judah called a railroad meeting at 
the St. Charles hotel in Sacramento. The [easi 
bility of a road over the mountains, the large 

amount of business that would come to that 
road from the Washoe mines and the necessity 
of Sacramento moving at once to secure that 
trade were pointed out. This road would be the 
beginning of a transcontinental line and Sacra- 
mento had the opportunity of becoming its 
terminus. Judah urged upon some of the lead- 
ing business men the project of organizing a 
company to begin the building of a transconti- 
nental road. The Washoe trade and travel 
would be a very important item in the business 
1 if the road. 

I in the 28th of June, 1861, the Central Pacific 
Railroad company was organized under the 
general incorporation law of the state. Leland 
Stanford was chosen president. C. P. Hunting- 
ton, vice-president, Mark Hopkins, treasurer, 
James Bailey, secretary, and T. D. Judah, chief 
engineer. The directors were those just named 
and F. B. Crocker, John F.Morse, D. W. Strong 
and Charles Marsh. The capital stock of the 
company was $8,500,000 divided into eighty-five 
thousand shares of $100 each. The shares taken 
by individuals were few, Stanford, Huntington, 
Hopkins, Judah and Charles Crocker subscrib- 
ing for one hundred and fifty each; Glidden & 
Williams, one hundred and twenty-five shares; 
Charles A. Lombard and Orville D. Lombard, 
three hundred and twenty shares; Samuel 
Hooper, Benjamin J. Reed, Samuel P. Shaw, 
fifty shares each; R. O. Ives, twenty-five shares: 
Edwin B. Crocker, ten shares; Samuel Bran- 
nan, two hundred shares; cash subscriptions of 
which 10 per cent was required by law to be 
paid down realizing but a few thousand dollars 
with which to begin so important a work as a 
railroad across the Sierra Nevada.* 

The total amount subscribed was $158,000, 
scarcely enough to build five miles of road on 
the level plains if it had all been paid up. None 
of the men in the enterprise was rich. Indeed. 
as fortune.- go now. none of them had more than 
a competence. Charles Crocker, who was one 
of the best off. in his sworn statement, placed 
the value of his property at $25,000; C. P. 
Huntington placed the value of his individual 
possessions at $7,222, while Leland Stanford and 

'Bancroft's History of California, Vol. VII., p. 54] 

Bancroft's I tistorj ol California, Vol VII 


his brother together owned property worth 
$32,950. The incubus that so long had pre- 
vented building a Pacific railroad was removed. 
The war of secession had begun. The southern 
senators and representatives were no longer in 
congress to obstruct legislation. The thirty- 
second and the thirty-fifth parallel roads south- 
ern schemes, were out of the way or rather the 
termini of these roads were inside the confeder- 
ate lines. 

A bill 'to aid in the construction of a railroad 
and telegraph line from the Missouri river to 
the Pacific ocean and to secure to the govern- 
ment the use of the same for postal, military and 
other purposes passed both houses and became 
a law July 1. 1862. The bill provided for the 
building of the road by two companies. The 
Union Pacific (which was to be a union of 
several roads already projected) was given the 
construction of the road to the eastern boundary 
of California, where it would connect with the 
Central Pacific. Government bonds were to be 
given to the companies to the amount of $i6,oao 
per mile to the foot of the mountains and 
$48,000 per mile through the mountains when 
forty miles of road had been built and approved 
by the government commissioners. In addition 
to the bonds the companies were to receive 
"every alternate section of public land desig- 
nated by odd numbers to the amount of five 
alternate sections per mile on each side of the 
railroad on the line thereof and within the limits 
of ten miles on each side of the road not sold, 
reserved or otherwise disposed of by the United 
States." Mineral lands were exempted and any 
lands unsold three years after the completion of 
the entire road were subject to a preemption 
like other public lands at a price not exceeding 
$1.25 per acre, payable to the company. 

The government bonds were a first mortgage 
on the road. The ceremony of breaking ground 
for the beginning of the enterprise took place at 
Sacramento. February 22, 1803, Governor 
Stanford throwing the first shovelful of earth, 
and work was begun mi the first eighteen miles 
of the road which was let by contract to be 
finished by August. [863. The Central Pacific 
company was in hard lines. Its means were nol 
sufficient to build forty miles which must In- 

completed before the subsidy could be received. 
In October, [863, Judah who had been instru- 
mental in securing the first favorable legislation 
set out a second time for Washington to ask 
further assistance from congress. At New York 
he was stricken with a fever and died there. To 
him more than any other man is due the credit 
of securing for the Pacific coast its first trans- 
continental railroad. In July, 1864, an amended 
act was passed increasing the land grant from 
six thousand four hundred acres to twelve 
thousand eight hundred per mile and reducing 
the number of miles to be built annually from 
fifty to twenty-five. The company was allowed 
to bond its road to the same amount per mile 
as the government subsidy. 

The Western Pacific, which was virtually a 
continuation of the Central Pacific, was organ- 
ized in December, 1862, for the purpose of 
building a railroad from Sacramento via Stock- 
ton to San Jose. A branch of this line was 
constructed from Niles to Oakland, which was 
made the terminus of the Central Pacific. The 
Union Pacific did not begin construction until 
1865, while the Central Pacific had forty-four 
miles constructed. In 1X67 the Central Pacific 
had reached the state line. It had met with 
many obstacles in the shape of lawsuits and 
unfavorable comments by the press. From the 
state line it pushed out through Nevada and 
on the 28th of April, [869, the two companies 
met with their completed roads at Promontory 
Point in Utah, fifty-three miles west of ( igden. 
The ceremony of joining the two roads took 
place May 10. The last tie, a handsomely fin- 
ished piece of California laurel, was laid and 
Governor Stanford with a silver hammer drove 
a golden spikr. The two locomotives, one 
from the east and one from the west, bumped 
noses and the first transcontinental railroad 
was completed. 

The Southern Pacific Railroad company of 
California was incorporated in December, [865. 
It was incorporated to build a railroad from 
some point on the l>a\ of San Francisco through 
the counties of Santa Clara. Monterey, San 
Puis Obispo, Tulare, Los Angeles to San 
DiegO and thence easterly through San 
to the eastern boundary of the state there to 


connect with a railroad from the Mississippi 

"In |ulv. 1866, congress granted to the At- 
lantic ami Pacific Radroad company to aid in 
the construction of its road and telegraph line 
from Springfield, Mo., by the most eligible route 
to Albuquerque in New Mexico and thence by 
the thirty-fifth parallel route to the Pacific, an 
amount of land equal to that granted to the ■ 
Central Pacific. By this act the Southern Pa- 
cific Railroad was authorized to connect with 
the Atlantic and Pacific near the boundary line 
of California, at such point as should be deemed 
most suitable by the companies and should have 
therefore the same amount of land per mile as 
the Atlantic and Pacific."* 

In 1S67 the Southern Pacific company de- 
cided to change its route and instead of build- 
ing down through the coast counties to go east- 
ward from Gilroy through Pacheco's pass into 
the upper San Joaquin valley through Fresno, 
Kern and San Bernardino to the Colorado river 
near Fort Mojave. This contemplated change 
left the lower coast counties out in the cold and 
caused considerable dissatisfaction, and an at- 
tempt was made to prevent it from getting a 
land subsidy. Congress, however, authorized 
the change, as did the California legislature of 
1870, and the road secured the land. 

The San Francisco and San Jose Railroad 
came into possession of the Southern Pacific 
company, San Francisco donating three thou- 
sand shares of stock in that road on condition 
that the Southern Pacific company, after it se- 
cured the San Jose road, should extend it to 
the southeastern boundary of the state. In 1869 
a proposition was made to the supervisors of 
San I rani isco to donate $1,0 0,0 10 in bonds of 
the city to the Southern Pacific company, on 
condition that it build two hundred miles south 
from Gilroy, the bonds to be delivered mi the 
completion and stocking of each section .if fifty 
lii> bonds were vi ited by the 
people of the city. The road was built to 
I. seventy miles iron Gilroy, and then 
stopped. The different branch roads in the San 
nd Salinas vallev were all consolidated 

.ft, VII , p 594 

under the name of the Southern Pacific. The 
Central Pacific and the Southern Pacific, al- 
though apparently different organizations, were 
really one company. 

The Southern Pacific built southward from 
Lathrop, a station on the Central Pacific's line, 
a railroad up the valley by way of Tehachapi 
Pass to Los Angeles. While this road was in 
course of construction in 1872 a proposition was 
made to the people of Los Angeles through the 
county board of supervisors to vote a subsidy 
equal to 5 per cent of the entire amount of the 
taxable property of the county on condition that 
the Southern Pacific build fifty miles of its main 
line to Yuma in the county. Tart of the subsidy 
was to be paid in bonds of the Los Angeles & 
San Pedro Railroad, amounting to $377,000 and 
sixty acres of land for depot purposes. The 
total amount of subsidy to be given was $610,- 
000. The proposition was accepted by the 
people, the railroad company in addition to its 
original offer agreeing to build a branch road 
twenty-seven miles long to Anaheim. This was 
done to head off the Tom Scott road which 
had made a proposition to build a branch road 
from San Diego to Los Angeles to connect with 
the Texas Pacific road which the year before 
had been granted a right of way from Marshall, 
Tex., to San Diego, and was preparing to build 
its road. The Southern Pacific completed its 
road to Los Angeles in September, 1876, and 
reached the Colorado river on its way east in 
April, 1S77. It obtained the old franchise of the 
Texas Pacific and continued its road eastward 
to El Paso, Tex., where it made connections 
with roads to Xew Orleans and other points 
south and east, thus giving California its second 
transcontinental railroad. This road was com- 
pleted to El Paso in [881. 

Ihe Atlantic & Pacific road with which the 
Southern Pacific was to connect originally, 
suffered from the financial crash of 1873 and 
suspended operations for a time. Later it en- 
tered into a combination with the Atchison. To- 
pe ka & Santa Fe and St. Louis & San Francisco 
railroad companies. This gave the Atchison 
road a half interest in the charter of the Atlantic 
& Pacific, fhe two companies built a main line 
jointly from Albuquerque (where the Atchison 



road ended) west to the Colorado river at the 
Needles. Their intention was to continue the 
road to Los Angeles and San Francisco. 

The California Southern and the California 
Southern Extension companies were organized 
to extend the Atlantic & Pacific from Barstow 
to San Diego. These companies consolidated 
and completed a road from San Diego to San 
Bernardino September 13, 1883. The Southern 
Pacific interfered. It attempted to prevent the 
California Southern from crossing its tracks at 
Colton by placing a heavy engine at the point 
of crossing, but was compelled to move the en- 
gine to save it from demolition. It built a branch 
from Mojave station to connect with the At- 
lantic & Pacific in which it had an interest. 
This gave connection for the Atlantic & Pacific 
over the Southern Pacific lines with both Los 
Angeles and San Francisco. This was a serious 
blow to the California Southern, but disasters 
never come singly. The great flood of January, 
1884, swept down through the Temecula Canon 
and carried about thirty miles of its track out 
to sea. It was doubtful under the circumstances 
whether it would pay to rebuild it. Finally the 
Southern Pacific agreed to sell its extension 
from Barstow to the Needles to the California 
Southern, reserving its road from Barstow to 

Mojave. Construction was begun at once on 
the California Southern line from Barstow to 
San Bernardino and in November, 1885, the 
road was completed from Barstow to San 
Diego. In October, 1886, the road passed un- 
der control of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa 
Fe. In the spring of 1887 the road was ex- 
tended westerly from San Bernardino to meet 
the San Gabriel valley road which had been 
built eastward from Los Angeles through Pasa- 
dena. The completed line reached Los Angeles 
in May, 1887, thus giving California a third 
transcontinental line. 

After many delays the gap in the Southern 
Pacific coast line was closed and the first trains 
from the north and the south passed over its 
entire length between Los Angeles and San 
Francisco on the 31st of March, 1901, nearly 
thirty years after the first section of the road 
was built. 

The Oregon & California and the Central 
Pacific were consolidated in 1870. The two 
ends of the road were united at Ashland. ( >re.. 
in 1887. The entire line is now controlled by 
the Southern Pacific, and, in connection with 
the Northern Pacific and the Oregon Railway 
& Navigation Road at Portland, forms a fourth 
transcontinental line for California. 



IT IS quite the fashion now with a certain 
school of writers, who take their history of 
California from "Ramona" and their infor- 
mation on the "Indian question" under the rule 
of the mission padres from sources equally fic- 
titious, to draw invidious comparisons between 
the treatment of the Indian by Spain and Mex- 
ico when mission rule was dominant in Cali- 
fornia and his treatment by the United Stales 
after the conquest. 

That the Indian was brutally treated and un- 
mercifully slaughtered by the American miners 
and rancheros in tin- early '50s none will deny; 
that he had fared but little better under the rule 

of Spain and Mexico is equally true. The tame 
and submissive Indians of the sea coast with 
whom the mission had to deal were a very 
different people from the mountain tribes with 
whom the Americans came in conflict. 

We know but little of the conquistas or gentile 
hunts that were occasionally sent out from the 
mission to capture subjects for conversion. The 
history of these was not recorded, from "The 
narrative of a voyage to the Pacini and Berings 
strait with the Polar expedition; performed i" 
his majesty's -■ 1 1 i ] 1 Blossom, under command of 
Capt. F. \V. Beechey, R. X.. in the years 
1825-26-27-28, we have the ston of one of these 



conquistas or convert raids. Captain Beechey 
visited California in 1828. While in California 
he studied the missions, or at least those he vis- 
ited, and after his return to England published 
his observations. His observations have great 
value. He was a disinterested observer and 
gave a plain, straightforward, truthful account 
of what he saw, without prejudice or partiality. 
His narrative dispels much of the romance that 
some modern writers throw around mission life. 
This conquista set out from the Mission San 

"At a particular period of the year also, when 
the Indians can be spared from agricultural con- 
cerns of the establishment, man}- are permitted 
lei take the launch of the mission and make ex- 
cursions to the Indian territory. All are anx- 
ious to go on such occasions. Some to visit 
friends, some to procure the manufactures of 
their barbarian countrymen (which, by the by, 
are often better than their own) and some with a 
secret determination never to return. ( >n these 
occasions the padres desire them to induce as 
many of their unconverted brethren as possible 
to accompany them back to the mission; of 
course, implying that this is to be done only by 
persuasion; but the boat being furnished with a 
cannon and musketry and in every respect 
equipped for war, it too often happens that the 
neophytes and the ^rulc tic razon, who super- 
intend the direction of the boat, avail them- 
selves 1 if their superiority with the desire of in- 
gratiating themselves with their master and re- 
ceiving a reward. There are besides repeated 
acts of aggression, which it is necessary to pun- 
ish, all of which furnish proselytes. Women and 
children are generally the first objects of cap- 
ture, as their husbands and parents sometimes 
voluntarily follow them into captivity. These 
misunderstandings and captivities keep up a per- 
petual enmity amongst the tribes whose thirst 
for revenge is insatiable." 

We had an opportunity of witnessing the 
tragical issue of one of these holyday excursions 
of the neophytes of the Mission San Jose. The 
launch was armed, as usual, and placed under 
the superintendence of an alcalde of the mission, 
who appears from one statement (for there are 
several), converted the party of pleasure either 

into an attack for procuring proselytes or of 
revenge upon a particular tribe for some ag- 
gression in which they were concerned. They 
proceeded up the Rio San Joachin until they 
came to the territory of a particular tribe named 
Consemenes, when they disembarked with the 
gun and encamped for the night near the vil- 
lage of Los Gentiles, intending to make an at- 
tack upon them next morning, but before they 
were prepared the gentiles, who had been ap- 
prised of their intention and had collected a 
large body of their friends, became the assail- 
ants and pressed so hard upon the party that, 
notwithstanding they dealt death in every direc- 
tion with their cannon and musketry and were 
inspired with confidence by the contempt in 
which they held the valor and tactics of their un- 
converted countrymen, they were overpowered 
by numbers and obliged to seek their safety in 
flight and to leave the gun in the woods. Some 
regained the launch and were saved and others 
found their way overland to the mission, but 
thirty-four of the party never returned to tell 
their tale. 

"There were other accounts of the unfortu- 
nate affair, one of which accused the padre of 
authorizing the attack. The padre was greatly 
displeased at the result of the excursion, as the 
loss of so many Indians to the mission was of 
great consequence and the confidence with 
which the victory would inspire the Indians was 
equally alarming. 

"He therefore joined with the converted In- 
dians in a determination to chastise and strike 
terror into the victorious tribe and in concert 
with the governor planned an expedition against 
them. The mission furnished money, arms, In- 
dians and horses and the presidio troops, headed 
by Alferez Sanches, a veteran, who had been 
frequently engaged with the Indians and was 
acquainted with that part of the country. The 
expedition set out November 10. and we heard 
nothing of it until the 27th. but two days after 
the troops had taken to the field some immense 
columns of smoke rising above the mountains 
in the direction of the Cosemmes bespoke the 
conflagration of the village of the persecuted 
gentiles; and on the <la\ above mentioned the 
veteran Sanches made a triumphant entry into 


the Mission of San Jose, escorting forty miser- 
able women and children. The gun which had 
been lost in the first battle was retaken and 
other trophies captured. 

"This victory, so glorious according to the 
ideas of the conquerors, was achieved with the 
loss of only one man on the part of the Chris- 
tians, who was mortally wounded by the burst- 
ing of his own gun; but on the part of the enemy 
it was considerable, as Sanches the morning 
after the battle counted forty-one men, women 
and children dead. It is remarkable that none 
of the prisoners was wounded and it is greatly 
to be feared that the Christians, who could 
scarcely be prevented from revenging the death 
of their relatives upon those who were brought 
to the mission, glutted their brutal passions on 
all who fell into their hands. 

"The prisoners they had captured were imme- 
diately enrolled in the list of the mission, except 
a nice little boy whose mother was shot while 
running away with him in her arms, and he was 
sent to the presidio and, as I heard, given to 
the Alferez as a reward for his services. The 
poor little orphan had received a slight wound in 
his forehead; he wept bitterly at first and refused 
to eat, but in time became reconciled to his 

"Those who were taken to the mission were 
immediately converted and were daily taught by 
the neophytes to repeat the Lord's prayer and 
certain hymns in the Spanish language. I hap- 
pened to visit the mission about this time and 
saw these unfortunate beings under tuition. 
They were clothed in blankets and arranged in 
a row before a blind Indian, who understood 
their dialect and was assisted by an alcalde to 
keep order. Their tutor began by desiring them 
to kneel, informing them that he was going to 
teach them the names of the persons composing 
the trinity and they were to repeat in Spanish 
what he dictated. The neophytes being ar- 
ranged, the speaker began: 'Santisima Trini- 
dad, Dios, Jesu Christo, Espiritu Santo,' paus- 
ing between each name to listen if the simple 
Indians, who had never before spoken a word 
of Spanish, pronounced it correctlj or anything 
near the mark. After they had repeated these 
names satisfactorily, their blind tutor, after a 

pause, added 'Santos' and recapitulated the 
names of a great many saints, which finished the 
morning's lesson. 

"They did not appear to me to pay much at- 
tention to what was going forward and I ob- 
served to the padre that 1 thought their teachers 
had an arduous task, but he said they had never 
found any difficulty; that the Indians were ac- 
customed to change their own gods and that 
their conversion was in a measure habitual to 

"The expenses of the late expedition fell heav- 
ily upon the mission and 1 was glad to find the 
padre thought it was paying very dear for so 
few converts, as in all probability it will lessen 
his desire to undertake another expedition and 
the poor Indians will be spared the horrors of 
being butchered by their own countrymen or 
dragged from their homes into captivity." 

This conquista and the results that followed 
were very similar to some of the so-called In- 
dian wars that took place after the American 
occupation. The Indians were provoked to hos- 
tilities by outrage and injustice. Then the 
military came down on them and wiped them 
out of existence. 

The unsanitary condition of the Indian vil- 
lages at some of the missions was as fatal as an 
Indian war. The Indian was naturally filthy, but 
in his native state he had the whole country to 
roam over. If his village became too filthy and 
the vermin in it ton aggressive, he purified it 
by fire — burned up his wigwam. The adobe 
houses that took the place of the brush hovel, 
which made up the early mission villages, could 
not be burned to purify them. No doubt the 
heavy death rate at the missions was due largely 
to the uncleanly habits of the neophytes. The 
statistiYs given in the chapter on the Franciscan 
missions show that in all the missionary estab- 
lishments a steady decline, a gradual extin 
of the neophyte population, had been in prog- 
ress for two to thr.e decades befon the mis- 
sions were seculai ized. Had on been 
delayed or had it no; taken place in the 
of a few decades, at the rate the nei phytes were 
living off the missions would have become de- 
populati <1, I lie death rate was greater than the 
birth rate in all of them and the mortality among 


the children was greater even than among the 
adults. After secularization the neophytes 
drifted to the cities and towns where they could 
more readily gratify their passion for strong 
drink. Their mission training and their Chris- 
tianity had no restraining influence upon them. 
Their vicious habits, which were about the only- 
thing they had acquired by their contact with 
the whites, soon put an end to them. 

During the Spanish and Mexican eras North- 
ern California remained practically a terra in- 
cognita. Two missions, San Rafael and San 
Francisco Solano, and the Castillo at Sonora, 
had been established as a sort of protection to 
the northern frontier. A few armed incursions 
had been made into the country beyond these 
to punish Indian horse and cattle thieves. Gen- 
eral A'allejo, who was in command of the 
troops on the frontera del norte, had always 
endeavored to cultivate friendly relations with 
the gentiles, but the padres disliked to have 
these near the missions on account of their in- 
fluence on the neophytes. Near the Mission 
San Rafael, in 1833, occurred one of those In- 
dian massacres not uncommon under Spanish 
and Mexican rule. A body of gentiles from the 
rancherias of Pulia, encouraged by Figueroa 
and Yallejo, came to the Mission San Rafael 
with a view to establishing friendly relations. 
The padre put off the interview until next day. 
During the night a theft was committed, which 
was charged to the gentiles. Fifteen of them 
were seized and sent as prisoners to San Fran- 
cisco. Padre Mercado, fearing that their coun- 
trymen might retaliate, sent out his major doma 
Molina with thirty-seven armed neophytes, who 
surprised the gentiles in their rancheria, killed 
twenty-one, wounded many more and captured 
twenty men, women and children. Yallejo was 
indignant at the shameful violation of his prom- 
ises of protection to the Indians. He released 
tlie prisoners at San Francisco and the captives 
at tin- mission and tried to pacify the wrathful 
gentiles. Padre Mercado was suspended from 
his ministry for a short time, but was afterward 
freed and returned to San Rafael." 

There was a system of Indian slavers in ex- 

Vol. III. 

istence in California under the rule of Spain and 
Mexico. Most of the wealthier Spanish and 
Mexican families had Indian servants. In the 
raids upon the gentiles the children taken by the 
soldiers were sometimes sold or disposed of to 
families for servants. Expeditions were gotten 
up upon false pretexts, while the main purpose 
was to steal Indian children and sell them to 
families for servants. This practice was carried 
on by the Americans, too, after the conquest. 

For a time after the discovery of gold the In- 
dians and the miners got along amicably. The 
first miners were mainly old Californians, used 
to the Indians, but with the rush of '49 came 
many rough characters who, by their injustice, 
soon stirred up trouble. Sutter had employed a 
large number of Indians on his ranches and in 
various capacities. These were faithful and hon- 
est. Some of them were employed at his mill 
in Coloma and in the diggings. In the spring 
of '49 a band of desperadoes known as the 
Mountain Hounds murdered eight of these at 
the mill. Marshall, in trying to defend them, 
came near being lynched by the drunken brutes. 

The injustice done the Indians soon brought 
on a number of so-called Indian wars. These 
were costly affairs to the state and in less than 
two years had plunged the young common- 
wealth into a debt of nearly $1,000,000. In a 
copy of the Los Angeles Star for February 28, 
1852, I find this enumeration of the wars and 
the estimated cost of each: The Morehead ex- 
pedition, $i20,oco; General Bean's first expedi- 
tion, $66,000; General Bean's second expedition, 
$50,000; the Mariposa war, $230,000; the El 
Dorado war, $300,000. The Morehead war orig- 
inated out of an injustice done the Yuma In- 
dians. These Indians, in the summer of 1849, 
had obtained an old scow and established a ferry 
across the Colorado river near the mouth of the 
Gila, and were making quite a paying business 
out of it by ferrying emigrants across the river. 
A party of Americans, headed by a Dr. Lang- 
don of Louisiana, and a desperado named Jack 
Glanton, dispossessed the Indians of their boat, 
and having obtained a liberal supply of whiskey 
from San Diego set up in business for them- 
selves. Tin- Indians, watching their opportunity, 
while the whites were asleep or stupefied with 


drink, fell upon and massacred the whole party, 
twelve or fifteen in all, and secured some $15,000 
or $20,000 in money. On receipt of the news. 
Governor Burnett ordered Major-General Bean 
of the state militia to march against the Yumas. 
Bean sent his quartermaster-general, Joseph C. 
Morehead. Morehead, on Bean's orders, pro- 
vided necessaries for a three months' campaign 
at most extravagant prices, paying for them in 
drafts on the state treasury. Morehead started 
out from Los Angeles with forty men, but by 
the time he reached the Colorado river he had 
recruited his force to one hundred and twenty- 
five men. The liquid supplies taken along doubt- 
less stimulated recruiting. They reached the 
Colorado in the summer of 1850, camped there 
and attacked their rations. After a month's 
siege (of their rations) they were ordered back 
and disbanded. The only luss was one man 
wounded (accidentally). He was sent back to 
Los Angeles for treatment. The doctor who 
treated him charged the state $500. The man 
who boarded him put in a bill of $120; and the 
patriot who housed him wanted $45 for house 
rent. Bean's first and second expeditions were 
very similar in results to the Morehead cam- 
paign. The El Dorado expedition or Rogers' 
war, as it was sometimes called, was another of 
Governor Burnett's fiascos. He ordered Will- 
iam Rogers, sheriff of El Dorado county, to call 
out two hundred men at the state's expense to 
punish the Indians for killing some whites who 
had, in all probability, been the aggressors and 
the Indians had retaliated. It was well known 
that there were men in that part of the country 
who had wantonly killed Indians for the pleas- 
ure of boasting of their exploits. 

Nor were the whites always the aggressors. 
There were bad Indians, savages, who killed 
without provocation and stole whenever an op- 
portunity offered. In their attempts at retalia- 
tion the Indians slaughtered indiscriminately 
and the innocent more often were their victims 
than the guilty. On the side of the whites it 
was a war of extermination waged in many in- 
stances without regard to age or sex; on the 
part of the Indian it was a war of retaliation 
waged with as little distinction. 

The extermination of the aborigines was Fear- 

fully rapid. Of over ten thousand Indians in 
Yuba, Placer, Nevada and Sierra counties in 
1849 not more than thirty-eight hundred re- 
mained in 1854. Much of this decrease had been 
brought about by dissipation and disease engen- 
dered by contact with the whites. Reservations 
were established in various parts of the state, 
where Indians abounded, but the large salaries 
paid to agents and the numerous opportunities 
for peculation made these positions atti 
to politicians, who were both incompetent and 
dishonest. The Indians, badly treated at the 
reservations, deserted them whenever an oppor- 
tunity offered. 

A recital of the atrocities committed upon 
each other in the northwestern part of the state 
during a period of nearly twenty years would fill 
a volume. The Indian with all his fi'endishne: s 
was often outmatched in cruelty by his pale 
faced brother. The Indian Island massacre was 
scarcely ever equaled in the annals of Indian 
cruelties. Indian Island lies nearly opposite 
the city of Eureka in Humboldt Bay. On this 
island, fifty years ago. was a large rancheria 
of inoffensive Indians, who lived chiefly b\ fish- 
ing. They had not been implicated in any of 
the wars or raids that had disturbed that part 
of the country. They maintained many of their 
old customs and had an annual gathering, at 
which they performed various rites and cere- 
monies, accompanied by dancing. A number of 
the Indians from the mainland joined them at 
these times. Near midnight of Februar) 25. 
i860, a number of boats tilled with white men 
sped silently out to the island. The whites 
landed and quietly surrounded the Indians, who 
were resting after their orgies, and began tin 
slaughter with axes, knives and clubs, splitting 
skulls, knocking out brains and cutting the 
throats of men, women and children. Of the 
two hundred Indians on the island only four or 
live men escaped by swimming to the mainland. 
The same night a rancheria at the entrance of 
Humboldt Bay and another at the mouth of Eel 
river were attacked and ab ml one hundred 
Indians slaughtered. The fiends who commit- 
ted these atrocitii beloi 1 ■ 1 or- 
ganization. No rigid investigation was ever 
made to find out who they were. The grand 


jury mildly condemned the outrage and there 
the matter ended. 

The Indians kept up hostilities, rendering 
travel and traffic unsafe on the borders of Hum- 
boldt, Klamath and Trinity counties. Governor 
Stanford in 1863 issued a proclamation for the 
enlistment of six companies of volunteers from 
the six northwestern counties of the state. 
These recruits were organized into what was 
known as the Mountaineer battalion with Lieut. - 
Col. Stephen G. Whipple in command. A num- 
ber of Indian tribes united and a desultory war- 
fare began. The Indians were worsted in nearly 
every engagement. Their power was broken 
and in February . [865, fragments of the different 
tribes were gathered into the Hoopa Valley 
reservation. The Mountaineer battalion in what 
was known as the "Two Years' War" settled the 
Indian question from Shasta to the sea for all 

The Modoc war was the last of the Indian 
disturbances in the state. The Modocs inhab- 
ited the country about Rhett Lake and Lost 
river in the northeast part of the state, bordering 
on Oregon. Their history begins with the mas- 
sacre of an immigrant train of sixty-five per- 
sons, men, women and children, on their way 
from Oregon to California. This brought upon 
them a reprisal by the whites in which forty- 
one out of forty-six Indians who had been in- 
vited by Benjamin Wright to a pow wow after 
they had laid aside their arms were set upon by 
Wright and his companions with revolvers and 
all killed but five. In 1864 a treaty had been 
made with the Modocs by which they were to 
reside on the Klamath reservation. But tiring 
of reservation life, under their leader. Captain 
Jack, they returned to their old homes on Lost 
river. A company of United States troops and 
everal volunteers who went along to see the 
fun were sent to bring them back to the reser- 
vation. They refused to go and a fight ensued 
in which four of the volunteers and one of the 
regulars were killed, and the troops retreated. 
Ilir Modocs after killing several settlers gath- 
ered at the lava beds near Rhett Lake and 
prepared for war. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Wheaton with about four 
hundred men attacked the Indians in the lava 

beds January 17, 1873. Captain Jack had but 
fifty-one men. When Wheaton retreated he had 
lost thirty-five men killed and a number 
wounded, but not an Indian had been hurt. A 
few days after the battle a peace commission 
was proposed at Washington. A. B. Meacham, 
Jesse Applegate and Samuel Case were ap- 
pointed. Elijah Steele of Yreka, who was on 
friendly terms with the Indians, was sent for. 
He visited the lava beds with the interpreter, 
J'aiivhild, and had a big talk. He proposed to 
them to surrender and they would be sent to 
Angel Island near San Francisco, fed and cared 
for and allowed to select any reservation they 
wished. Steele, on his return to camp, reported 
that the Indians accepted the terms, but Fair- 
child said they had not and next day on his re- 
turn Steele found out his mistake and barely 
escaped with his life. Interviews continued 
without obtaining any definite results, some of 
the commission became disgusted and returned 
home. ( ieneral Canby, commanding the depart- 
ment, had arrived and taken charge of affairs. 
Commissioner Case resigned and Judge Ros- 
borough was appointed in his place and the Rev. 
K. Thomas, a doctor of divinit) in the Metho- 
dist church, was added to the commission. A 
man by the name of Riddle and his wife Toby, 
a .Modoc, acted as go-betweens and negotiations 

A pow wow was arranged at the council tent 
at which all parties were to meet unarmed, but 
Toby was secretly informed that it was the in- 
tention of the Modocs to massacre the commis- 
sioners as had been done to the Indian com- 
missioners twenty years before by Benjamin 
Wright and his gang. On April 10, while 
Meacham and Dyer, the superintendent of the 
Klamath reservation, who had joined the com- 
missioners, were away from camp, the Rev. 
Dr. Thomas made an agreement with a dele- 
gation from Captain Jack for the commission 
and ( ieneral Canby to meet the Indians at the 
council tent. Meacham on his return opposed 
the arrangement, fearing treachery. The doc or 
insisted that Cod had done a wonderful work 
in the Modoc camp, but Meacham shocked the 
pious doctor by saying "Cod had not been in 
the Modoc camp this winter." 


Two of the Indian leaders, Boston Charley 
and Bogus Charley, came to headquarters to 
accompany the commission. Riddle and his 
wife, Toby, bitterly opposed the commissioners' 
going, telling them they would be killed, and 
Toby going so far as to seize Meacham's horse 
to prevent him from going, telling him, "You get 
kill." Canby and the doctor insisted upon going, 
despite all protests, the doctor saying, "Let us go 
as we agreed and trust in God." Meacham and 
Dyer secured derringers in their side pockets 
before going. When the commissioners, the 
interpreters, Riddle and his wife, reached the 
council tent they found Captain Jack, Schonchin 
John, Black Jim, Shancknasty Jim, Ellen's 
Alan and Hooker Jim sitting around a fire at 
the council tent. Concealed behind some 
rocks a short distance away were two young 
Indians with a number of rifles. The two Char- 
leys, Bogus and Boston, who had come with the 
commissioners from headquarters, informed the 
Indians that the commissioners were not armed. 
The interview began. The Indians were very 
insolent. Suddenly, at a given signal, the Indians 
uttered a war whoop, and Captain Jack drew 
a revolver from under his coat and shot Gen- 
eral Canby. Boston Charley shot Dr. Thomas, 
who fell, rose again, but was shot down 
while begging for his life. The young Indians 
had brought up the rifles and a fusillade was 
begun upon the others. All escaped without in- 
jury except Meacham, who, alter running some 
distance, was felled by a bullet fired by Hooker 
Jim, and left for dead. He was saved from being 
scalped by the bravery of Toby. He recovered, 
however, although badly disfigured. While this 

was going on, Curly Haired Doctor and several 
other Modocs, with a white flag, inveigled Lieu- 
tenants Boyle and Shenvood beyond the lines. 
Seeing the Indians w'ere armed, the officers 
turned to flee, when Curly Haired Jack fired and 
broke Lieutenant Sherwood's thigh. He died a 
few days later. The troops were called to arms 
when the firing began, but the Indians escaped 
to the lava beds. After a few days' preparation, 
Colonel Giilem, who was in command, began an 
attack on the Indian stronghold. Their position 
was shelled by mountain howitzers. In the 
fighting, which lasted four days, sixteen soldiers 
were killed and thirteen wounded. In a recon- 
noissance under Captain Thomas a few days 
later, a body of seventy troops and fourteen Warm 
Spring Indians ran into an ambush of the In- 
dians and thirteen soldiers, including Thomas, 
were killed. Gen. Jefferson C. Davis was placed 
in command. The Indians were forced out of the 
lava beds, their water supply having been cut 
off. They quarreled among themselves, broke 
tip into parties, were chased down and all cap- 
tured. Captain Jack and Schonchin John, the 
two leaders, were shackled together. General 
Davis made preparations to hang these and six 
or eight others, but orders from Washington 
stopped him. The leading Indians were tried 
by court-martial. Captain Jack, Schonchin 
John, Black Jim and Boston Charley were hung, 
two others were sentenced to imprisonment for 
life. The other Modocs, men, 'women and chil- 
dren, were sent to a fort in Nebraska and after- 
wards transferred to the Quaw Paw Agenc) in 
Indian Territory. This ended the Modoc war 
and virtually put an end to the Modoc Indians. 



THE first Chinese emigrants to California 
arrived in the brig Eagle, from Hong 
Kong, in the month of February, [848. 
They were two men and one woman. This was 
before the discovery of gold was known abroad. 
What brought these waifs from the Flowery 

Kingdom to California does not appear in the 
record. February 1. 1S40, there were fifty-four 
Chinamen and one Chinawoman in the territory. 
January 1. 1S50, seven hundred ami eighty-nine 
men and two women hail arrived. Januar) 1. 
[851, four thousand and eighteen men and seven 



women; a year later their numbers had in- 
creased to eight thousand one hundred and 
twenty-one men and eight women; May 7, 1852, 
eleven thousand seven hundred and eighty men 
and seven women had found their way to the 
land of gold. The Alta California, from which 
I take these figures, estimated that between 
seven and ten thousand more would arrive in 
the state before January 1, 1853. ^he editor 
sagely remarks: "No one fears danger or mis- 
fortune from their excessive numbers." There 
was no opposition to their coming; on the con- 
trary, they were welcomed and. almost lionized. 
The Alta of April 2~, 1851, remarks; "An 
American barque yesterday brought eighty 
worshippers of the sun, moon and many stars. 
These Celestials make excellent citizens and we 
are pleased to notice their daily arrival in large 
numbers." The Alta describes a Great Chinese 
meeting on Portsmouth Square, which took 
place in 185 1. It seems to have been held for 
the purpose of welcoming the Chinese to Cali- 
fornia and at the time doing missionary 
work and distributing religious tracts among 
them. The report says: "A large assemblage 
of citizens and several ladies collected on the 
plaza to witness the ceremonies. Ah Hee assem- 
bled his division and Ah Sing marched his into 
Kearny street, where the two divisions united 
and then marched to the square. Many carried 
fans. There were several peculiar looking Chi- 
namen among them. One, a very tall, old Celes- 
tial with an extensive tail, excited universal at- 
tention. He had a huge pair of spectacles upon 
his nose, the glasses of which were about the 
size of a telescope lens. He also had a singu- 
la rl\ colored fur mantle or cape upon his shoul- 
ders and a long sort of rube. We presume he 
must be a mandarin al least. 

"Vice Consul I . \. Woodworth, His Honor, 
Major J. W. Geary, Rev. Albert Williams, Rev. 
A. Fitch and Rev. F. D. Hunt were present. 
Ah lire acted as interpreter. The Rev. Hunt 

hem some orthodox instruction in which 
they were informed of the existence of a coun- 
try where the China boys would never die; this 
made them laugh quite heartily. Tracts, scrip- 

: icuments, astronomical works, almanacs 
and otli.-i useful religious ami instructive docu- 

ments printed in Chinese characters were dis- 
tributed among them." 

1 give the report of another meeting of "The 
Chinese residents of San Francisco," taken 
from the Alta of December 10, 1849. I quote 
it to show how the Chinese were regarded when 
they first came to California and how they were 
flattered and complimented by the presence of 
distinguished citizens at their meetings. Their 
treatment a few years later, when they were 
mobbed and beaten in the streets for no fault 
of theirs except for coming to a Christian coun- 
try, must have given them a very poor opinion 
of the white man's consistency. "A public 
meeting of the Chinese residents of the town 
was held on the evening of Monday, November 
19, at the Canton Restaurant on Jackson street. 
The following preamble and resolutions were 
presented and adopted: 

" 'Whereas, It becomes necessary for us, 
strangers as we are in a strange land, unac- 
quainted with the language and customs of our 
adi pted country, to have some recognized coun- 
selor and advisor to whom we may all appeal 
with confidence for wdiolesome instruction, and, 

" 'Whereas, We should be at a loss as to what 
course of action might be necessary for us to 
pursue therefore, 

" 'Resolved, That a committee of four be ap- 
pointed to wait upon Selim E. Woodworth, Esq., 
and request him in behalf of the Chinese resi- 
dents of San Francisco to act in the capacity of 
arbiter and advisor for them.' 

"Mr. Woodworth was waited upon by Ah Hee, 
Jon Ling, Ah Ting and Ah Toon and kindly 
consented to act. The whole affair passed off 
in the happiest manner. Many distinguished 
guests were present, Hon. J. W. Geary, alcalde; 
E. H. Harrison, ex-collector of the port, and 

At the celebration of the admission of Cali- 
fornia into the Union the "China Roys" were a 
prominent feature. One report says: "The 
Celestials had a banner of crimson satin on 
which were some Chinese characters and the in- 
scription 'China Boys.' They numbered about 
fifty and were arrayed in the richest stuff and 
commanded by their chief. Ah Sing." 

While the "China Boys" were feted and flat- 


tered in San Francisco they were not so enthu- 
siastically welcomed by the miners. The legis- 
lature in 1850 passed a law fixing the rate of 
license for a foreign miner at $20 per month. 
This was intended to drive out and keep out of 
the mines all foreigners, but the rate was so 
excessively high that it practically nullified the 
enforcement of the law and it was repealed in 
1 85 1. As the Chinese were only allowed peace- 
able possession of mines that would not pay 
white man's wages they did not make fortunes 
in the diggings. If by chance the Asiatics 
should happen to strike it rich in ground aban- 
doned by white men there was a class among 
the white miners who did not hesitate to rob the 
Chinamen of their ground. 

As a result of their persecution in the mines 
the Chinese flocked to San Francisco and it was 
not long until that city had more "China Boys" 
than it needed in its business. The legislature 
of 1855 enacted a law that masters, owners or 
consignors of vessels bringing to California 
persons incompetent to become citizens under 
the laws of the state should pay a fine of $50 for 
every such person landed. A suit was brought 
to test the validity of the act; it was declared 
unconstitutional. In 1858 the foreign miner's 
tax was $10 per month and as most of the other 
foreigners who had arrived in California in the 
early '50s had by this time become citizens by 
naturalization the foreigners upon whom the 
tax bore most heavily were the Chinese who 
could not become citizens. As a consequence 
many of them were driven out of the mines and 
this again decreased the revenue of the mining 
counties, a large part of which was made up of 
poll tax and license. 

The classes most bitterly opposed to the Chi- 
nese in the mines were the saloon-keepers, the 
gamblers and their constituents. While the 
Chinaman himself is a most inveterate gambler 
and not averse to strong drink he did not divest 
himself of his frugal earnings in the white man's 
saloon or gambling den. and the gentry who 
kept these institutions were the first, like Bill 
Nye in Bret Harte's poem, to raise the cry. 
"We are ruined by Chinese cheap labor." 
While the southern politicians who were the 
rulers of the state before the Civil war were 

opposed to the Chinese and legislated against 
them, it was not done in the interest of the white 
laborer, for at one time they had made an at- 
tempt to introduce the coolie system, which was 
to have been a substitute for their beloved in- 
stitution—slavery. They could not endure the 
presence of an inferior race not in bondage. The 
most intolerant and the most bitter opponents 
of the Chinese then and later when opposition 
had intensified were certain servile classes of 
Europeans who in their native countries had al- 
ways been kept in a state of servility to the aris- 
tocracy, but when raised to the dignity of Amer- 
ican citizens by naturalization proceeded to 
celebrate their release from their former serf- 
dom by persecuting the Chinese, whom they re- 
garded as their inferiors. The outcry these peo- 
ple made influenced politicians, who pandered to 
them for the sake of their votes to make laws 
and ordinances that were often burlesques on 

In 1870 the legislature enacted a law impos- 
ing a penalty of not less than $1,000 nor more 
than $5,000 or imprisonment upon any one 
bringing to California any subject of China or 
Japan without first presenting evidence of his 
or her good character to the commissioner of 
immigration. The supreme court decided the 
law unconstitutional. Laws were passed pro- 
hibiting the employment of Chinese on the pub- 
lic works; prohibiting them from owning real 
estate and from obtaining licenses for certain 
kinds of business. The supervisors of San Fran- 
cisco passed an ordinance requiring that the 
hair of any male prisoner convicted of an of- 
fense should be cut within one inch of his head. 
This, of course, was aimed at Chinese convicts 
and intended to deprive them of their queues 
and degrade them in the estimation of their peo- 
ple. It was known as the Pig Tail Ordinance; 
the mayor vetoed it. Another piece of class 
legislation by the San Francisco supervisors im- 
posed a license of $15 a quarter on laundries 
using no horses, while a laundry using a one- 
horse wagon paid but $2 per quarter. The Chi- 
nese at this time i [876) did not use horses in 
their laundry business. The omrts decided 
against this ordinance. 

Notwithstanding the law- and ordinances 


against them the Chinese continued to come 
and they found employment of some kind to 
keep them from starving. They were indus- 
trious and economical; there were no Chinese 
tramps. Although they filled a want in the 
.state, cheap and reliable labor, at the beginning 
of its railroad and agricultural development, 
they were not desirable citizens. Their habits 
and morals were bad. Their quarters in the 
cities reeked with filth and immorality. They 
maintained their Asiatic customs and despised 
the "white devils" among whom they lived, 
which, by the way, was not strange considering 
the mobbing and maltreatment they received 
from the other aliens. They made merchandise 
of their women and carried on a revolting sys- 
tem of female slavery. 

The Burlingame treaty guaranteed mutual 
protection to the citizens of China and the 
United States on each other's soil ; to freedi im in 
religious opinions; to the right to reside in 
either country at will and other privileges ac- 
corded to civilized nations. Under this treat) 
the Chinese could not be kept out of California 
and agitation was begun for the modification or 
entire abrogation of the treat). 

For a number of years there had been a steady 
decline in the price of labor. Various causes 
had contributed to this. The productiveness of 
the mines had decreased; railroad communica- 
tion with the east had brought in a number of 
workmen and increased competition; the efforts 
of thelabor unions to decrease the hours of labor 
and still keep up the wages at the old standard 
had resulted in closing up some O the manu- 
facturing establishments, th< proprietors finding 
it impossible to compete with eastern factories. 
All these and other causes brought about a de- 
pression in business and brought en in [877-78 
a labor agitation that shook the foundations of 
our social fabric. The hard times and decline in 
wages was charged against the Chinese. No 
doubl the presence of the Mongolians in Cali- 
fornia had considerable to do with it and par- 
ticularly in the lower grades of employment 
but the depres ion was mainly caused from 
over-production and the financial crisis of 1873, 
which had affected tin whole I baited 
Another cause local to California was the wild 

mania for stock gambling that had prevailed in 
( alifornia for a number of years. The bonanza 
kings of the Washoe by getting up corners in 
stocks running up fraudulent values and then 
unloading on outside buyers had impoverished 
thousands of people of small means and enriched 
themselves without any return to their dupes. 

Hard times always brings to the front a class 
of noisy demagogues who with no remedy to 
prescribe increase the discontent by vitupera- 
tive abuse of everybody outside of their sym- 
pathizers. The first of the famous sand lot mass 
meetings of San Francisco was held July 23. 
1877, on a vacant lot on the Market street 
side of the city hall. Harangues were made and 
resolutions passed denouncing capitalists, de- 
claring against subsidies to steamship and rail- 
road lines, declaring that the reduction of wages 
was part of a conspiracy for the destruction of 
the republic and that the military should not be 
employed against strikers. An anti-coolie club 
was formed and on that and the two succeeding 
evenings a number of Chinese laundries were 
destroyed. In a fight between the police (aided 
by the committee of safely) and the rioters sev- 
eral .if the latter were killed. Threats were 
made to destroy the railroad property and burn 
the vessels of the Pacific Mail Steamship Com- 
pany unless the Chinese in their employ were 
immediately discharged. 

Among the agitators that this ebullition of dis- 
content threw to the front was an Irish dray- 
man named Dennis Kearney. Fie was shrewd 
< nough to see that some notoriety and political 
capital could lie made by the organization of a 
Workingmen's party. 

On the 5th of October a permanent organiza- 
tionof the Workingmen's party of California was 
effected. Dennis Kearney was chosen president, 
J. G. Day, vice-president, and II. L. Knight, sec- 
retary. The principles of the party were the con- 
densed essence of selfishness. The working 
classes were to be elevated at the expense of 
every other. "We propose to elect none but com- 
petent workingmen and their friends to am <>\- 
lire whatever." "The rich have ruled us till they 
have ruined us." "The republic must and shall 
served, and only workingmen will do it." 
'This party will exhaust all peaceable means of 



attaining its ends, but it will not be denied jus- 
tice when it has the power to enforce it." "It 
will encourage no riot or outrage, but it will 
not volunteer to repress or put down or arrest, 
or prosecute the hungry and impatient who 
manifest their hatred of the Chinamen by a cru- 
sade against John or those who employ him." 
These and others as irrelevant and immaterial 
were the principles of the Workingmen's party 
that was to bring the millennium. The move- 
ment spread rapidly, clubs were formed in every 
ward in San Francisco and there were organiza- 
tions in all the cities of the state. The original 
leaders were all of foreign birth, but when the 
movement ''became popular native born dema- 
gogues, perceiving in it an opportunity to ob- 
tain office, abandoned the old parties and joined 
the new. 

Kearney now devoted his whole time to agi- 
tation, and the applause he received from his 
followers pampered his inordinate conceit. His 
language was highly incendiary. He advised 
every workingman to own a musket and one 
hundred rounds of ammunition and urged the 
formation of military companies. He posed as 
a reformer and even hoped for martyrdom. In 
one of his harangues he said: "If I don't get 
killed I will do more than any reformer in the 
history of the world. I hope I will be assassi- 
nated, for the success of the movement depends 
on that." The incendiary rant of Kearney and 
his fellows became alarming. It was a tame 
meeting, at which no "thieving millionaire, 
scoundrelly official or extortionate railroad mag- 
nate" escaped lynching by the tongues of la- 
borite reformers. The charitable people of the 
city had raised by subscription $20,000 to al- 
leviate the prevailing distress among the poor. 
It was not comforting to a rich man to hear 
himself doomed to "hemp! hemp! hemp!" 
simply because by industry, economy and enter- 
prise he had made a fortune. It became evident 
that if Kearney and his associates were allowed 
to talk of hanging men and burning the city 
some of their dupes would put in practice the 
teachings of their leaders. The supervisors, 
urged on by the better class of citizens, passed 
an ordinance called by the sand-lotters "Gibbs' 
gag law." On the 29th of October, Kearney and 

his fellow agitators, with a mob of two or three 
thousand followers, held a meeting on Xob Hill, 
where Stanford, Crocker, Hopkins and other 
railroad magnates hail built palatial residences. 
He roundly denounced as thieves the nabobs of 
Nob Hill and declared that they would soon feel 
the power of the workingmen. When his party- 
was thoroughly organized they would march 
through the city and compel the thieves to give 
up their plunder; that he would lead them to the 
city hall, clear out the police, hang the pros- 
ecuting attorney, burn every book that had a 
particle of law in it, and then enact new laws 
for the workingmen. These and other utter- 
ances equally inflammatory caused his arrest 
while addressing a meeting on the borders of 
the Barbary coast. Trouble was expected, but 
he quietly submitted and was taken to jail and a 
few days later Day, Knight, C. C. < 1'Donnell and 
Charles E. Pickett were arrested on charges of 
inciting riot and taken to jail. A few days in 
jail cooled them off and they began to "squeal." 
They addressed a letter to the mayor, saying 
their utterances had been incorrectly reported 
l>v the press and that if released they were will- 
ing to submit to any wise measure to allay the 
excitement. They were turned louse after two 
weeks' imprisonment and their release was cele- 
brated on Thanksgiving Day, November 20. by 
a grand demonstration of sand lotters — seven 
thousand of whom paraded the streets. 

It was not long before Kearney and his fel- 
lows were back on the sand lots hurling nut 
threats of lynching, burning and blowing up. 
< In January 5 the grand jury presented indict- 
ments against Kearney, Wellock, Knight, 
O'Donnell and Pickett. They were all released 
on the rulings of the judge of the criminal court 
on the grounds that no actual had taken 

The first victory <>i the so-called Working- 
men's parte was the election of a state senator in 
Alameda count) to till a vacancj caused by the 
death of Senator Porter. An individual by the 
name <>f John W. Bones was elected. On ac- 
counl of his being long and lean he was known 
as Barebones and sometimes Praise God Bare- 
bones. His only services in the senate were the 
perpetration of some doggerel verses and a 



speech or two on Kearney's theme, "The Chi- 
nese Must Go." At the election held June [9, 
1878, to choose delegates to a constitutional 
convention of the one hundred and fifty-two 
delegates the Workingmen elected fifty-seven, 
thirty-one of whom were from San Francisco. 
The convention met at Sacramento, September 
28, 1878, and continued to sit in all one hundred 
and fifty-seven days. It was a mixed assem- 
blage. There were some of the ablest men in 
the state in it, and there were some of the most 
narrow minded and intolerant bigots there. The 
Workingmen flocked by themselves, while the 
non-partisans, the Republicans and Democrats, 
for the most part, acted in unison. Opposition 
to the Chinese, which was a fundamental prin- 
ciple of the Workingmen's creed, was not con- 
fined to them alone; some of the non-partisans 
were as bitter in their hatred of the Mongolians 
as the Kearneyites. Some of the crudities pro- 
posed for insertion in the new constitution were 
laughable for their absurdity. One sand lotter 
proposed to amend the bill of rights, that all men 
are by nature free and independent, to read, "All 
men who are capable of becoming citizens of the 
United States are by nature free and inde- 
pendent." One non-partisan wanted to incor- 
porate into the fundamental law of the state 
Kearney's slogan, "The Chinese Must Go." 

After months of discussion the convention 
evolved a constitution that the ablest men in 
that body repudiated, some of them going so fat- 
as to take the stump against it. But at the elec- 
tion it carried by a large majority. Kearney 
continued his sand lot harangues. In the sum- 
mer of [879 he made a trip through the south- 
ern counties of the state, delivering his diatribes 
against the railroad magnates, the land mo- 
nopolists and the Chinese. At the town of Santa 
Ana, now the county seat of ( )range county, in 
his harangue he made a vituperative attack 
upon the McFadden Brothers, who a year or 
two before had built a steamer and run it in op- 
position i" (In- regular coast line steamers until 
forced to sell it on account of losses incurred by 
the competition. Kearney made a number of 
false and libelous statements in regard to tin- 
transaction. While he was waiting fur tin- stage 
to San Dieero in front of the hotel he was in- 

fronted by Rule, an employee of the McFad- 
den's, with an imperious demand for the name of 
Kearney's informant. Kearney turned white 
with fear and blubbered out something about 
not giving away his friends. Rule struck him 
a blow that sent him reeling against the build- 
ing. Gathering himself together he made a rush 
into the hotel, drawing a pistol as he ran. Rule 
pursued him through the dining room and out 
across a vacant lot and into a drug store, where 
he downed him and, holding him down with his 
knee on his breast, demanded the name of his 
informer. One of the slandered men pulled 
Rule off the "martyr" and Kearney, with a face 
resembling a beefsteak, took his departure to 
San Diego. From that day on he ceased his 
vituperative attacks on individuals. He had met 
the only argument that could convince him of 
the error of his ways. He lost caste with his 
fellows. This braggadocio, who had boasted of 
leading armies to conquer the enemies of the 
Workingmen, with a pistol in his hand had 
ignominiously fled from an unarmed man and 
had taken a humiliating punishment without a 
show of resistance. His following began to de- 
sert him and Kearney went if the Chinese did 
not. The Workingmen's party put up a state 
ticket in 1879, but it was beaten at the polls and 
went to pieces. In 1880 James Angell of Mich- 
igan, John F. Swift of California, and William 
H. Trescott of South Carolina were appointed 
commissioners to proceed to China for the pur- 
pose of forming new treaties. An agreement 
was reached with the Chinese authorities by 
which laborers could be debarred for a certain 
period from entering the United States. Those 
in the country were all allowed the rights that 
aliens of other countries had. The senate ratified 
the treaty May 5th. 1881. 

The following is a list of the governors of Cal- 
ifornia, Spanish. Mexican and American, with 
date of appointment or election: Spanish: 
Caspar de Portola, [767; Felipe Barri, 177 1 ; 
Felipe de Xcve, 1774: Pedro Fages, 1790; Jose 
Antonio Romeu, 171)0; Jose Joaquin de Ar- 
rillaga, 17(1-': Diego de Borica, 1704: Jose Joa- 
quin de Arrillaga, 1800; Jose Arguello, 1814; 
Pablo Vicente de Sola, iSiv Mexican gov- 
ernors: Pablo Vicente de Sola, 1822: Luis 


Arguello, 1823; Jose Maria Echeandia, 1825; 
Manuel Victoria, 1831 ; Pio Pico, 1832; Jose 
Maria Echeandia, Agustin Zamorano, 1832; 
Jose Figueroa, 1833; Jose Castro, 1835; Nicolas 
Gutierrez, 1836; Mariano Chico, 1836; Nicolas 
Gutierrez, 1836; Juan B. Alvarado, 1836; Man- 
uel Micheltorena, 1842; Pio Pico, 1845. Amer- 
ican military governors: Commodore Robert 
F. Stockton, 1846; Col. John C. Fremont, Jan- 
uary, 1847; Gen. Stephen W. Kearny, March 
1, 1847; Col. Richard B. Mason, May 31, 1847; 
Gen. Bennet Riley, April 13, 1849. American 
governors elected: Peter H. Burnett, 1840. 
John McDougal, Lieutenant-governor, became 
governor on resignation of P. H. Burnett in 
January, 1851: John Bigler, 1851: John Bigler, 

1853; J- Neely Johnson, 1855; John B. Weller, 
1857; M. S. Latham, 1859; John G. Downey, 
lieutenant-governor, became governor in 1850 
by election of Latham to United States senate; 
Leland Stanford, 1S61: Frederick F. Low, 1863; 
Henry II. Haight, 1867; Newton Booth, 1871; 
Romualdo Pacheco, lieutenant governor, be- 
came governor February, 1875, on election of 
Booth to the United States senate; William Ir- 
win, 1875; George C. Perkins, 1879; George 
Stoneman, 1882; Washington Bartlett. [886; 
Robert W. Waterman, lieutenant-governor, be- 
came governor September 12, 1887, upon the 
death of Governor Bartlett: H. H. Markham, 
1890; James H. Budd, 1894; Henry T. Gage, 



THE Franciscans, unlike the Jesuits, were 
not the patrons of education. They 
bent all their energies towards pros- 
elyting. Their object was to fit their converts 
for the next world. An ignorant soul might 
be as happy in paradise as the most learned. 
Why educate the neophyte? He was converted, 
baptized and when granted absolution had his 
passport to heaven. There were no public 
schools at the missions. A few of the brightest 
of the neophytes, who were trained to sing in 
the church choirs, were taught to read, but the 
great mass of them, even those of the third gen- 
eration, born and reared at the missions, were 
as ignorant of book learning as were their great- 
grandfathers, who ran naked among the oak 
trees of the mesas and fed on acorns. 

Nor was there much attention paid to edu- 
cation among the gente de razon of the pre- 
sidios and pueblos. But few of the common 
people could read and write. Their ancestors 

had made their way in the world without 1 k 

learning. Why should the child know more 
than the parent? And trained to have great filial 
regard for his parent, it was not often that 
the progeny aspired to rise higher in the scale 

of intelligence than his progenitor. Of the 
eleven heads of families who founded Los An- 
geles, not one could sign his name to the title 
deed of his house lot. Xor were these an ex- 
ceptionally ignorant collection of hombres. Out 
of fifty men comprising the Monterey company 
in 1785, but fourteen could write. In the com- 
pany stationed at San Francisco in [794 not a 
soldier among them could read or write; and 
forty years later of one hundred men at Son, una 
not one could write his name. 

The first communit} wanl the American pio- 
neers supplied was (he school house. Wher- 
ever the immigrants from the New England 
and the middle states planted a settlement, there, 
at the same time, the) planted a school h 
The first community want that the Spanish 
pabladores (colonists) supplied was a church. 
The school house was nol wanted or if wanted it 
was a long felt want that was rarely or never 
satisfied. At the time of the acqui 
ifornia by the Americans, sevent) seven years 
from the date of its first settlement, there was 
not a public school house owned by any pre- 
sidio, i'ii. bio 1 ir city in a I I ■■ >ry 

The first public school in California was 


opened in San Jose in December, 1794, seven- 
teen years alter the founding of that pueblo. 
The pioneer teacher of California was Manuel 
de Vargas, a retired sergeant of infantry. The 
school was opened in the public granary. 
Vargas, in 1795, was offered $250 to open a 
school in San Diego. As tins was higher wages 
than he was receiving he accepted the offer. 
Jose Manuel Toca, a gamute or ship boy. ar- 
rived on a Spanish transport in 1795 and the 
same year was employed at Santa Barbara as 
schoolmaster at a yearly salary of Si 25. Thus 
the army and the navy pioneered education in 

Governor Borica, the founder of public 
schools in California, resigned in 1800 and was 
succeeded by Arrillaga. Governor Arrillaga, if 
not opposed to, was at least indifferent to the 
education of the common people. He took life 
easy and the schools took long vacations; in- 
deed, it was nearly all vacation during his term. 
Governor Sola, the successor of Arrillaga, made 
an effort to establish public schools, but the in- 
difference of the people discouraged him. In 
the lower pueblo. Los Angeles, the first school 
was opened in 1817, thirty-six years after the 
founding of the town. The first teacher then- 
was Maximo Piha. an invalid soldier. He re- 
ceived $140 a year for his services as school- 
master. If the records are correct, his was the 
only school taught in Los Angeles during the 
Spanish regime. < hie year of schooling to forty- 
years of vacation, there was no educational 
cramming in those days. The schoolmasters of 
the Spanish era were invalid soldiers, possessed 
of that dangerous thing, a "little learning: ' and 
it was very little indeed. About all they could 
teach was reading, writing and the doctrina 
Christiana. They were brutal tyrants and their 
school government a military despotism. They 
did not spare the roil or the child, either. The 
rod was too mild an instrument of punishment. 
Their implement of torture was a cat-o'-nine- 
tails, made of hempen cords with iron points. 
To fail in learning the doctrina Christiana was 
an unpardonable sin. for this, for laughing 
aloud, playing truant or other offenses no more 
heinous, the guilty boy "was stretched face 
downward upon .1 bench with a handkerchief 

thrust into his mouth as a gag and lashed with a 
dozen or more blows until the blood ran down 
his little lacerated back." If he could nut im- 
bibe the Christian doctrine in any other way, 
it was injected into him with the points of the 

Mexico did better for education in California 
than Spain. The school terms were lengthened 
and the vacation shortened proportionally. Gov- 
ernor Echeandia, a man hated by the friars, was 
an enthusiastic friend of education. "He be- 
lieved in the gratuitous and compulsory educa- 
tion of rich and poor, Indians and g ente de 
razoy alike." He held that learning was the 
corner-stone of a people's wealth and it was the 
duty of the government to foster education. 
When the friars heard of his views "they called 
upon God to pardon the unfortunate ruler un- 
able to comprehend how vastly superior a re- 
ligious education was to one merely secular." 
Echeandia made a brave attempt to establish a 
public school system in the territory. He de- 
manded of the friars that they establish a-school 
at each mission for the neophytes; they prom- 
ised, but, with the intention of evading, a show 
was made of opening schools. Soon it was re- 
ported that the funds were exhausted and the 
schools had to close for want of means to sup- 
port them. Nor was Echeandia more successful 
with the people. He issued an order to the 
commanding officers at the presidios to compel 
parents to send their children to school. The 
school at Monterey was opened, the alcalde act- 
in- as schoolmaster. The school furniture con- 
sisted of one table and the school books were 
one arithmetic and four primers. The school 
funds were as meager as the school furniture. 
Echeandia, unable to contend against the enmity 
of the friars, the indifference of the parents and 
the lack of funds, reluctantly abandoned his 
futile fight against ignorance. 

( hie of the most active and earnest friends of 
the public schools during the Mexican era was 
the much abused Governor Mic'heltorena. He 
made an earnest effort to establish a public 
school system in California. Through his efforts 
schools were established in all the principal 

Panel 'ft'- California Pastoral. 


towns and a guarantee of $500 from the ter- 
ritorial funds promised to each school. Michel- 
torena promulgated what might be called the 
first school law of California. It was a decree 
issued May 1, 1844, and consisted of ten articles, 
which prescribed what should be taught in the 
schools, school hours, school age of the pupils 
and other regulations. Article 10 named the 
most holy virgin of Guadalupe as patroness of 
the schools. Her image was to be placed in 
each school. But, like all his predecessors, 
Micheltorena failed: the funds were soon ex- 
hausted and the schools closed. 

Even had the people been able to read there 
would have been nothing for them to read but 
religious books. The friars kept vigilant watch 
that no interdicted books were brought into the 
country. If any were found they were seized 
and publicly burned. Castro, Alvarado and Val- 
lejo were at one time excommunicated for read- 
ing Rousseau's works, Telemachus and other 
books on the prohibited list. Alvarado having 
declined to pay Father Duran some money he 
owed him because it was a sin to have anything 
to do with an excommunicated person, and 
therefore it would be a sin for the father to take 
money from him, the padre annulled the sen- 
tence, received the money and gave Alvarado 
permission to read anything he wished. 

During the war fur the conquest of California 
and for some time afterwards the schools were 
all closed. The wild rush to the gold mines in 
1848 carried away the male population. No one 
would stay at home and teach school for the 
paltry pay given a schoolmaster. The ayunta- 
miento of Los Angeles in the winter of 1849-50 
appointed a committee to establish a school. 
After a three months' hunt the committee re- 
ported "that an individual had just presented 
himself who, although he did not speak English, 
yet could he teach the children many useful 
things; and besides the same person had man- 
aged to get the refusal of Mrs. Pollerena's house 
for school purpose." At the next meeting of the 
ayuntamiento the committee reported that the 
individual who had offered to teach had left for 
the mines and neither a school house nor a 
schoolmaster could be found. 

In June, 1850, the ayuntamiento entered into 

a contract with Francisco Bustamente, an ex- 
soldier, "to teach to the children first, second 
and third lessons and likewise to read script, to 
write and count and so much as I may be com- 
petent to teach them orthography and good 
morals." Bustamente was to receive $60 per 
month and $20 for house rent. This was the 
first school opened in Los Angeles after the 

"'I he first American school in San Francisco 
and. we believe, in California, was a merely pri- 
vate enterprise. It was opened by a Mr. Mars- 
ton from one of the Atlantic states in April, 
1N47. in a small shanty which stood on the block 
I iet ween Broadway and Pacific streets, west of 
Dupont street. There lie collected some twenty 
or thirty pupils, whom he continued to teach for 
almost a whole year, his patrons paying for tui- 

In the fall of 1847 a school house was built 
"ii the southwest corner of Portsmouth square, 
fronting on Clay street. The money to build it 
was raised by subscription. It was a very mod- 
est structure — box shaped with a door and two 
windows in the front and two windows in each 
end. It served a variety of purposes besides that 
of a school house. It was a public hall for all 
kinds of meetings. Churches held service m it. 
1 he first public amusements were given in it. 
At one time it was used for a court room. The 
first meeting to form a state government was 
held in it. It was finally degraded to a police 
office and a station house. For some time after 
it was built no school was kept in it for want of 

On the Jisi of February, 1848, a town meet- 
ing was called for the election ,,f a board of 
school trustees and Dr. P. Fourguard, Dr. |. 
Townsend, C. L. Ross, J. Serrini and William 
H. Davis were chosen. < )n the 3d of April fol- 
lowing these trustees opened a school in the 
school house under the charge of Thomas 
Douglas, A. M.. a graduate of Yale College and 
an experienced teacher of high reputation. The 
board pledged him a salary of $1,000 per an- 
num and fixed a tariff of tuition to aid towards 
its payment; and the town council, afterwards, 

\iiii.m- of San Francisco. 


to make up any deficiency, appropriated to the 
payment of the teacher of the public school in 
this place $200 at the expiration of twelve 
months from the commencement of the school. 
"Soon after this Mr. Marston discontinued his 
private school and Mr. Douglas collected some 
forty pupils."* 

The school flourished for eight or ten weeks. 
Gold had been discovered and rumors were 
coming thick and fast of fortunes made in a day. 
A thousand dollars a year looked large to Air. 
Douglas when the contract was made, but in the 
light of recent events it looked rather small. 
A man in the diggings might dig out $1,000 in a 
week. So the schoolmaster laid down the 
pedagogical birch, shouldered his pick and hied 
himself away to the diggings. In the rush for 
gold, education was forgotten. December 12, 
1848, Charles \Y. II. Christian reopened the 
school, charging tuition at the rate of $10. Evi- 
dently he did not teach longer than it took him 
to earn money to reach the mines. April 23, 
[849, the Rev. Albert Williams, pastor of the 
First Presbyterian church, obtained the use of 
the school house and opened a private school,, 
charging tuition. He gave up school teaching 
to attend to his ministerial duties. In the fall 
of '49 John C. Pelton, a Massachusetts school- 
master, arrived in San Francisco and December 
26 opened a school with three pupils in the Bap- 
tist church on Washington street. He fitted up 
the church with writing tables and benches at 
his own expense, depending on voluntary con- 
tributions for his support. In the spring of 
1850 he applied to the city council for relief and 
for his services and that of his wife he received 
$500 a month till the summer of 1851. when he 
closed his school. 

Col. T. J. Xevins. in June. 1850, obtained rent 
free the use of a building near the present inter- 
section of Mission and Second streets for school 
purposes, lie employed a Mr. Samuel New- 
ton as teacher. The school was opened July 
13. The school passed under the supervision 
of several teachers. The attendance was small 
at first and the school was supported by con- 
tributions, but later the council voted an ap 

propriation. The school was closed in 1851. 
Colonel Nevins, in January, 1851, secured a 
fifty-vara lot at Spring Valley on the Presidio 
road and built principally by subscription a 
large school building, employed a teacher and 
opened a free school, supported by contributions. 
The building was afterwards leased to the city 
to be used for a free school, the term ot the 
lease running ninety-nine years. This was the 
first school building in which the city had an 
ownership. Colonel Xevins prepared an ordi- 
nance for the establishment, regulation and 
support of free common schools in the city. 
The ordinance was adopted by the city council 
September 25, 185 1, and was the first ordinance 
establishing free schools and providing for their 
maintenance in San Francisco. 

A bill to provide for a public school system 
was introduced in the legislature of 1850, but 
the committee on education reported that it 
would be two or three years before any means 
would become available from the liberal pro- 
visions of the constitution; in the meantime 
the persons who had children to educate could 
do it out of their own pockets. So all action 
was postponed and the people who had children 
paid for their tuition or let them run without 

The first school law was passed in 1851. It 
was drafted mainly by G. LI. Lingley, John C. 
Pelton and the superintendent of public instruc- 
tion, J. G. Marvin. It was revised and amended 
by the legislatures of 1852 and 1853. The state 
school fund then was derived from the sale and 
rental of five hundred thousand acres of state 
land; the estates of deceased persons escheated 
to the state; state poll tax and a state tax of 
five cents on each $100 of assessed property. 
Congress in 1853 granted to California the 16th 
and 36th sections of the public lands for school 
purposes. The total amount of this grant was 
six million seven hundred and sixty-five thou- 
sand five hundred and four acres, of which 
forty-six thousand and eighty acres were to be 
deducted for the founding of a state university 
or college and six thousand four hundred acres 
for public buildings. 

The first apportionment of state funds was 
made in 1854. The amount of state funds for 


that year was $52,961. The county and mu- 
nicipal school taxes amounted to $157,702. 
These amounts were supplemented by rate bills 
to the amount of $42,557. In 1856 the state 
fund had increased to $69,961, while rate bills 
had decreased to $28,619. That year there were 
thirty thousand and thirty-nine children of 
school age in the state, of these only about 
fifteen thousand were enrolled in the schools. 

In the earlier years, following the American 
conquest, the schools were confined almost en- 
tirely to the cities. The population in the coun- 
try districts was too sparse to maintain a school. 
The first school house in Sacramento was built 
in 1849. lC was located on I street. C. H. T. 
Palmer opened school in it in August. It was 
supported by rate bills and donations. He gath- 
ered together about a dozen pupils. The school 
was soon discontinued. Several other parties 
in succession tried school keeping in Sacra- 
mento, but did not make a success of it. It was 
not until" 1851 that a permanent school was es- 
tablished. A public school was taught in Mon- 
terey in 1849 by Rev. Willey. The school was 
kept in Colton Hall. The first public school 
house in Los Angeles was built in 1854. Hugh 
Overns taught the first free school there in 1850. 

The amount paid for teachers' salaries in 1854 
was $85,860; in 1900 it reached $4,850,804. The 
total expenditures for school purposes in 1854 
amounted to $275,606; in 1900 to $6,195,438. 
The first high school in the state was established 
in San Francisco in 1856. In 1900 there were 
one hundred and twenty high schools with an 
attendance of twelve thousand one hundred and 
seventy-nine students. Two million dollars were 
invested in high school buildings, furniture and 
grounds. Five hundred teachers were employed 
in these schools. 


This institution was chartered in August, 
1 85 1, as the California W'esleyan College, which 
name was afterwards changed by act of the leg 
islature to that it now bears. The charter was 
obtained under the general law of the state as 
it then was, and on the basis of a subscription 
of $27,500 and a donation of some ten acres of 
land adjacent to the village of Santa Clara. A 

school building was erected in which the pre- 
paratory department was opened in May, 1852, 
under the charge of Rev. E. Banister as prin- 
cipal, aided by two assistant teachers, and be- 
fore the end of the first session had over sixty 
pupils. Near the close of the following year 
another edifice was so far completed that the 
male pupils were transferred to it. and the Fe- 
male Collegiate Institute, with its special course 
of study, was organized and continued in the 
original building. In 1S54 the classes of the 
college proper were formed and the requisite 
arrangement with respect to president, faculty, 
and course of study made. In 1858 two young 
men, constituting the first class, received the de- 
gree of A. I',., they being the first to receive 
that honor from any college in California. In 
1865 the board of trustees purchased the Stock- 
ton rancho, a large body of land adjoining the 
town of Santa Clara. This was subdivided into 
lots and small tracts and sold at a profit. By 
this means an endowment was secured and an 
excellent site for new college building obtained. 


The question of founding a college or uni- 
versity in California had been discussed earlv in 
1849, before the assembling of the constitutional 
convention at San Jose. The originator of the 
idea was the Rev. Samuel H. Willey, D. D., of 
the Presbyterian church. At that time he was 
stationed at Monterey. The first legislature 
passed a bill providing for the granting of col- 
lege charters. The bill required that application 
should be made to the supreme court, which was 
to determine whether the property possessed be 
the proposed college was worth $20,000, and 
whether in other respects a charter should be 
granted. A body of land for a college site had 
been offered by James Stokes and Kimball II. 

Dimmick to be selected from a large tract they 
owned on tlie Guadalupe river, near San Jose. 
When application was char- 

ter the supreme court refused to give a charter 
to tlie applicants on the plea that the land 
was unsurveyed and the ml'' not fully deter- 

The Rev. Henry Durant, who had at one time 
been a tutor in Vale College, came to 1 alifornia 



m 1S53 to engage in teaching. At a meeting 
cf the presbytery of San Francisco and the Con- 
gregational Association of California held in 
Nevada City in May, 1853, which Mr. Durant 
attended, it was decided to establish an acad- 
emy at Oakland. There were but few houses 
in Oakland then and the only communication 
with San Francisco was by means of a little 
steamer that crossed the bay two or three times 
a day. A house was obtained at the corner of 
Broadway and Fifth street and the academy 
opened with three pupils. A site was selected 
for the school, which, when the streets were 
opened, proved to be four blocks, located be- 
tween Twelfth and Fourteenth, Frankkn and 
Harrison streets. The site of ( )akland at that 
time was covered with live oaks and the sand 
was knee deep. Added to other discourage- 
ments, titles were in dispute and squatters were 
seizing upon the vacant lots. A building was 
begun for the school, the money ran out and 
the property was in danger of seizure on a me- 
chanics' lien, but was rescued by the bravery 
and resourcefulness of Dr. Durant. 

In 1855 the College of California was char- 
ters! and a search begun for a permanent site. 
A number were offered at various places in the 
state. The trustees finally selected the Berkeley 
site, a tract of one hundred and sixty acres on 
Si raw berry creek near Oakland, opposite the 
Golden Gate. The college school in Oakland 
was nourishing. A new building, Academy 
Hall, was erected in 1858. A college faculty 
was organized. The Rev. Henry Durant and 
the Rev. Martin Kellogg were chosen pro- 
fessors and the first college class was organized 
in June, i860. The college classes were taught 
in the buildings of the college school, which 
were usually called the College of California. 
The college classes were small and the endow- 
ment smaller. The faculty met with many dis- 
couragements. It became evident that the in- 
stitution could never become a prominent one 
in the educational field with the limited means 
of support it could command. In 1863 the idea 
of a state universitj began to be agitated. A bill 
was passed by the state legislature in 1866, de- 
voting t<> the support of a narrow polyte,chnical 
school, the federal land grants to California for 

the support of agricultural schools and a college 
of mechanics. The trustees of the College of 
California proposed in 1867 to transfer to the 
state the college site at Berkeley, opposite the 
Golden Gate, together with all the other assets 
remaining after the debts were paid, on con- 
dition that the state would build a University of 
California on the site at Berkeley, which should 
be a classical and technological college. 


A bill for the establishing of a state university 
was introduced in the legislature March 5, 1868, 
by Hon. John W. Dwindle of Alameda county. 
After some amendments it was finally passed, 
March 21, and on the 27th of the same month a 
bill was passed making an appropriation for the 
support of the institution. 

The board of regents of the university was 
organized June 9, 1868, and the same day Gen. 
George B. McClellan was elected president of 
the university, but at that time being engaged in 
building Stevens Battery at Xew York he de- 
clined the honor. September 23, 1869, the 
scholastic exercises of the university were be- 
gun in the buildings of the College of Califor- 
nia in ( )akland and the first university class was 
graduated in June, 1873. The new buildings of 
the university at Berkeley were occupied in 
September, 1873. Prof. John Le Conte was act- 
ing president for the first year. Dr. Henry 
Durant was chosen to fill that position and was 
succeeded by D. C. Oilman in 1872. The corner- 
stone of the Agricultural College, called the 
South Hall, was laid in August. 1872, and that 
of the North Hall in the spring of 1873. 

The university, as now constituted, consists 
of Colleges of Letters, Social Science, Agricul- 
ture, Mechanics. Mining, Civil Engineering, 
Chemistry and Commerce, located at Berkeley; 
the Lick Astronomical Department at Mount 
Hamilton: and the professional and affiliated 
> olleg< s in San Francisco, namely, the Hastings 
College of Law, the Medical Department, the 
Post-Graduate Medical Department, the Col- 
lege of Dentistry and Pharmacy, the Veterinary 
Department and the Mark